Yanks hit record three slams in 22-9 win
Russell Martin was at the center of the Yankees' record-setting day of offense, and he offered the best assessment of how surprising it was that his team was the first in major-league history to hit three grand slams in one game.
"Pretty much everything's already happened," he said. "It's pretty special."
With a very patient, potent offense -- and a huge dose of horrible pitching by the A's -- the Yankees made history in Thursday's 22-9 win.
That they piled up 22 runs, their most since scoring 22 in 2000 against the Red Sox, was even more remarkable considering they were down 7-1 after three innings and starter Phil Hughes didn't make it through the third.
But it was the slams that made this one a day for the record books.
Six Oakland pitchers combined to issue 13 walks and hit a batter, which helped lead to 16 Yankees plate appearances with the bases loaded and all the chances for slams.
"Well, it only counts as one," A's manager Bob Melvin said, "but it was definitely embarrassing."
Robinson Cano delivered the first slam, a shot to rightfield in the fifth off A's starter Rich Harden that cut Oakland's lead to 7-6. "Once I saw that ball leave his bat," Nick Swisher said, "I thought, 'We're going to win this one.' "
Martin, whose solo homer to rightfield in the fourth had seemed inconsequential at the time, batted with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth. This time he smacked a shot off the top of the wall in right-center on a 96-mph fastball from Fautino De Los Santos to give the Yankees a 10-7 lead.
It was part of a 5-for-5, six-RBI day for Martin and marked the fourth time in history that the Yankees had two slams in one game.
And the bases-loaded chances kept coming. Derek Jeter, who briefly got to .300 with three hits, had four at-bats with the bases full, going 0-for-3 with a walk. Alex Rodriguez, playing his first game since jamming his left thumb Sunday, went 2-for-4 but lined out with the bases full to end the seventh.
With two outs in the eighth, Curtis Granderson delivered the record with a drive off Bruce Billings that gave him 36 homers and 103 RBIs. Andruw Jones then went back-to-back, hitting the Yankees' fifth homer of the day.
As Martin noted, everything's been done before in baseball, so none of the Yankees knew they were part of history until the scoreboard told them so.
"You have to be pretty fortunate to be able to do that," Joe Girardi said. "It's a pretty crazy accomplishment."
"I'm surprised it hadn't been done before," Granderson said. "Really surprised."
The A's threw 237 pitches and the Yankees 190 in a game that lasted 4 hours, 31 minutes -- after an 89-minute rain delay.
But after the A's took the first two games of the series and were thumping the Yankees again, it not only was historic but satisfying.
"It's a huge, emotional win for us," Swisher said. "I always use that word 'tenacity' with this team. We were down 7-1 and we just showed what we're capable of, coming back."
The craziness didn't end even with the last slam. Jorge Posada trotted out to play second base in the ninth inning, his first pro appearance at second since Class A ball in 1991. He got a chance on the final play of the day and nearly killed Swisher, who had subbed in at first, with a short-hop laser of a throw that Swisher had to stretch to scoop.
A fitting end to a fittingly bizarre day, but the good kind. The Yankees are off to Baltimore, where the uncertainty of a hurricane could wreak havoc with their weekend schedule.
Thursday, though, was special. A club with more history than any other in the sport made history.
"You're not going to see it again, probably," Jeter said. "It's just one of those days. You can't explain it."