TAMPA, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez barreled around third base, ran through a stop sign and headed home. The throw beat him by a mile and the Tampa Bay catcher was ready, crouching and clutching the ball.
Only one thing for A-Rod to do: Pull up short of the plate, come to a complete stop and let Josh Paul gently tag him in the chest.
After two tense spring training games that resulted in three suspensions, Rays-Yankees III was hardly a heavyweight brawl Saturday. With an extra umpire added to the crew just in case, Tampa Bay beat New York 7-2 in a peaceful split-squad exhibition.
"I think all of that is behind us. We've talked about it enough," Rodriguez said.
From the first pitch, the Yankees and Rays decided to play nice. No hard slides, no brushbacks, not even a mean stare.
"I'm pleased with the way both teams played," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
A collision at home plate started the trouble between the teams last weekend, and the conflict carried over to a bench-clearing scuffle Wednesday.
If this had been the regular season, Rodriguez would've made a more serious effort to score on Jorge Posada's double in the fourth inning. Instead, he gave himself up 15 feet away.
What if he'd plowed into Paul?
"That could have been a big story," Rodriguez said, smiling.