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Curtis Granderson hits three home runs against Twins

Curtis Granderson hits a fourth inning home run,

Curtis Granderson hits a fourth inning home run, his third of the game, against the Minnesota Twins. (April 19, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

The end of the night may have been anticlimactic for Curtis Granderson, but the beginning was pure shock and awe.

Granderson hit three home runs in the first four innings during a 7-6 win over the Twins, the 27th time a Yankee has accomplished the feat. Alex Rodriguez did it in 2005 and 2010 and Mark Teixeira hit three home runs against Boston in 2010. Granderson, who went 5-for-5 on Thursday, is the 490th major leaguer to do it, the most recent being Prince Fielder last season. Granderson is also the 22nd batter to victimize the Twins for three home runs in a game.

He gave the Yankees a much needed power infusion after Phil Hughes struggled through the first inning. Hughes, as part of another subpar outing, allowed the Twins to take a 4-0 lead. But Granderson quickly changed the subject.

Granderson's first home run came with one out in the bottom of the first, a solo shot off right-hander Anthony Swarzak to right center field on the seventh pitch of the at-bat. It cut the Yankees' deficit to 4-1.

Granderson next came up with two outs in the second inning and Derek Jeter on first base. Jeter's RBI single had just tied the score at 4-4. But Granderson gave the Yankees a 6-4 lead with a blast to right field--again off Swarzak--on the fifth pitch of the at-bat.

Granderson completed the hat trick with one out in the fourth inning, slamming a line drive solo home run off right-handed reliever Jeff Gray to right field on the fifth pitch of the at-bat. That blast gave the Yankees a 7-4 lead.

Granderson singled in the sixth and hit an infield single in the eighth to stay perfect.

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