Yanks rout A’s with MLB record three slams
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Story by Bryan Hoch MLB.com
NEW YORK — Russell Martin’s sixth-inning grand slam fueled a historic Yankees rout, as the Bombers rallied to post a 22-9 victory over the Athletics on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Robinson Cano also belted a fifth-inning grand slam for New York, which avoided a series sweep by overcoming a poor start from Phil Hughes, who served up six runs in just 2 2/3 innings. Curtis Granderson’s eighth-inning slam was the third of the afternoon for the Yankees, who set a Major League record for most slams in a single game.
The go-ahead blast by Martin — who recorded a career-high six RBIs — came off Fautino de los Santos and was the catcher’s second home run of the game, complementing his fourth-inning drive off A’s starter Rich Harden to begin the long climb back.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Martin said. “This game has been played for a long time. Pretty much everything has already happened. I’m waiting to see who’s going to hit four — I don’t know if it’s ever going to happen, but we’ll see. Three is pretty cool.”
Prior to Thursday, the Yankees had seen two players belt grand slams in a single game just three times. The feat had last been accomplished by Paul O’Neill and Bernie Williams on Sept. 14, 1999, at Toronto.
“The fact that we as a team have done something that all the teams have never done before, it’s pretty neat,” Granderson said. “I think it speaks to what this offense is — that anybody and everybody can deliver at any time.”
“You have to be pretty fortunate to be able to do that,” manager Joe Girardi said. “You’ve got to get the bases loaded a lot. It’s a pretty crazy accomplishment when you think about it — three grand slams in one game.”
After a rain delay of one hour and 27 minutes on a dreary afternoon in the Bronx, the Yankees found themselves in a 7-1 hole after three innings as Hughes was hit hard and often.
Cliff Pennington greeted Cory Wade with a three-run homer on the first pitch the right-hander threw out of the bullpen, boosting Oakland to a commanding advantage at the time.
But the Yankees scraped to take Hughes off the hook, as Harden wouldn’t escape the fifth inning.
That was thanks to Cano, who rocketed his 22nd homer of the year into the second deck in right field, a blast that cut Oakland’s lead from five runs to one.
Cano also singled earlier in the game, extending his hitting streak to a season-high 16 games. Harden permitted six runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings, walking one and striking out six.
Derek Jeter scored the first Yankees run, ripping a leadoff triple and scoring on a Mark Teixeira groundout. The hit was Jeter’s 3,056th, moving him past Rickey Henderson for 21st place on the all-time list.
The slugfest brushed aside a disappointing start for Hughes, who had won his last two outings and was looking to build on that success.
The right-hander needed 78 pitches to record eight outs, serving up run-scoring hits to Pennington, Josh Willingham and David DeJesus.
The Yankees had chances for more output even before the big swings, tossing aside bases-loaded, one-out opportunities in both the second and fifth innings.
While impressive, the 14 runs the Yankees scored on home runs was not a record. The Rangers scored 18 runs on homers in their 30-3 rout of the Orioles on Aug. 22, 2007. Also of note, the Blue Jays scored 16 runs on homers when they hit a Major League-record 10 long balls on Sept. 14, 1987.