NEW YORK — His pregame tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez soaked in repeated cheers during his final game in pinstripes, getting one more hit for the New York Yankees and returning to third base one last time.

On a night filled with nostalgia as the Yankees and Rodriguez turn to uncertain futures, baseball’s most notorious star of the last two decades drove a 96 mph fastball from Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer into the right-center field gap in the first inning of New York’s 6-3 win Friday.

And with the sellout crowd of 46,459 chanting “We want A-Rod!” the 41-year-old designated hitter trotted to third base for the first time in 15 months at the start of the ninth inning as the organist played “Thanks for the Memory.”

He was replaced after a leadoff strikeout, hugging his teammates as fans, many of whom never warmed to a player who served a year-long drug suspension, applauded in respect if not devotion.

Rodriguez raised his cap and then his arm before walking into the dugout, sitting down and holding a white towel to his face as he tried to hold back tears.

A-Rod ran back on the field for more hugs after the final out, grabbing a handful of dirt from the infield.

“This is a night I’ll never forget,” he said, moments after the last out.

Rodriguez had clapped as he came out of the batter’s box and pumped both arms as he reached second base without a throw in the first against Archer.

After ending an 0-for-11 slide, Rodriguez grounded out, struck out and bounced out again on the first pitch in his last at-bat. The 1-for-4 night left him with a .200 average, nine homers and 31 RBI in his 12th and final Yankees season.

Dark clouds rolled in from the northwest as his Yankee Stadium ceremony began. Rodriguez’s family was on the field and public address announcer Paul Olden said: “Alex, you spent 12 of your 22 seasons with the Yankees” when a loud thunder crack shook the ballpark, as if ordered by a film director.

Rain started to fall during a video message from Lou Piniella, Rodriguez’s first big league manager, and the festivities ended awkwardly after 10 minutes when a downpour began.

Ten minutes later, the clouds started to clear, somewhat symbolic of A-Rod’s time in New York, and a rainbow came out shortly before the first pitch.

Fans gave him a 30-second ovation when he walked to the plate in the first and stood and took photos during his at-bats.

After the game, Rodriguez saluted the fans over and over.