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Granderson chips in with two homers before Yankees blow it open

During roll call, Curtis Granderson gives a two-handed point to pay homage to the Bleacher Creatures in right-centerfield. When he was at bat, Granderson spread the love, and the ball, to other parts of rightfield.

He pulled a pair of solo home runs in back-to-back innings, his eighth and ninth of the season, in the Yankees' 12-6 win over the Royals on Sunday afternoon.

With all eyes on Alex Rodriguez and his pursuit of 600 career home runs, Granderson showed there's still some pop in his shiny black bats, which he used to hit a career-high 30 dingers last season for the Tigers.

"Just trying to go out there and get 'the feel,' as I say," Granderson said of his work Sunday morning in an optional batting practice session. "Sometimes, you've got the feel and sometimes you don't, and even after batting practice [Sunday], I was still trying to look for it and search for it."

He found it once the game started. His first home run led off the third inning and cut the Royals' 2-0 lead in half. It was the Yankees' first hit off Kansas City starter Sean O'Sullivan after seven hitless innings dating to Tuesday when O'Sullivan was with the Angels (he was sent to the Royals on Thursday in a deal for Alberto Callaspo).

Granderson lifted a 3-and-1 fastball into the Yankees' bullpen just right of the 385-foot sign. The homer was Granderson's first since June 23 in Arizona. He had hit only five homers in his previous 49 games since returning from the disabled list with a strained groin May 28. It also extended a modest hitting streak to five games, tying his season high.

With one out in the fourth, Granderson sent a 2-and-1 fastball into the first row of the second deck in right to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead. The RBI was Granderson's 26th of the season.

"In baseball, some days you feel great and get no hits, and some days you feel bad and get a bunch of hits," Granderson said. "Some days, you're just kind of in the middle, and that's kind of how the season's been going."

His third at-bat, which came just about 41/2 hours after the game's first pitch because of a 2:32 rain delay, wasn't as successful. He popped out to shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who made the play a foot into foul territory in short leftfield, off reliever Dusty Hughes for the second out in the sixth.

Granderson opened the eighth with a four-pitch walk against Blake Wood. He stole second (his eighth of the season) with Brett Gardner at the plate, and moved to third on a throw to the left of second base by catcher Jason Kendall. He and Gardner both scored on Nick Swisher's RBI single to right that made it 9-5.

The Yankees batted around in the eighth, allowing Granderson to close the Yankees' extraordinarily long day at the plate. He skied the first pitch he saw from Victor Marte to leftfield, which Scott Podsednik snagged by reaching over the wall in foul ground.


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