Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees rounds the...

Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees rounds the bases after hitting a grand slam home run off of pitcher Josh Rupe #59 of the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (April 23, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

BALTIMORE -- And the hits just keep on coming. Including plenty of home runs.

Again flexing their power muscles, the Yankees pounded five homers that accounted for 12 runs Saturday nightin a 15-3 demolition of the Orioles at Camden Yards as CC Sabathia earned his first victory of the season.

But despite the outburst that gave the Yankees 35 home runs through 17 games -- a franchise record -- the clubhouse was simmering afterward, working its way toward a slow boil.

Russell Martin contributed two of the five homers, a three-run blast in the sixth inning and a solo shot in the eighth, and in the ninth, he was drilled between the shoulder blades by Josh Rupe. That brought the Yankees to the top step of the dugout. Martin stared at Rupe, who had given up Alex Rodriguez's grand slam in a seven-run eighth, before going to first. Four pitches later, Brett Gardner hit his first homer of the season to make it 15-3, prompting fist pumps in the Yankees' dugout.

"Yes, there's no doubt about it,'' Martin said when asked if he thought the pitch was intentional. "I want to stay in the lineup, so I'm not going to do anything stupid, but I wouldn't recommend him doing that again.''

"I'll just say it's beautiful,'' Joe Girardi said, referring to the timing of Gardner's homer off Rupe.

Pressed later and clearly still upset, Girardi said of Rupe's pitch: "It was right at his head.''

Said Martin: "It was pretty high. I'm glad it didn't hit me in the head. If it hit me in the head, there would have been different consequences, I'm sure. But I'm fine, I'm good. It's not a big deal. I want to stay in the lineup.''

In the Orioles' clubhouse, manager Buck Showalter said Rupe told him the pitch wasn't intentional, but he acknowledged, "I do understand what it looked like, and it didn't look good.''

Rupe said the pitch simply got away, that his intent wasn't to hit Martin. "Trust me, that's the last thing I want to do,'' he told Baltimore reporters. "I know how it looked and for me, and a lot of these guys on this team, I pitch in. That's what I do when I'm coming out of the pen. I've already given up a home run and yeah, I was really ---- off. But I'm not going to resort to possibly hurting a guy and end his career or anything like that. There's no reason for me to do that. I'm not that type of guy.''

Mark Teixeira was not aware of Rupe's words but didn't sound as if he'd buy them. "That's a heck of a coincidence if it wasn't intentional,'' he said. "And I've never understood it, never understood why guys choose to hit someone when they hit two home runs. It's happened to me plenty of times in my career, and every time it happens, it just doesn't make any sense.''

The offensive surge was more than enough to make a winner of Sabathia, who improved to 15-2 in his career against the Orioles, including 9-1 at Camden Yards.

Sabathia, suffering from flu-like symptoms the night before -- though he still would have started Friday had the game not been rained out -- didn't allow a hit until Derrek Lee's single with two outs in the fourth. Sabathia, who struck out seven and walked one in eight innings, allowed a three-run homer by Adam Jones in the seventh that trimmed his lead to 6-3.

"His offense has been unbelievable,'' Sabathia said of Martin. "But what he's been doing with us [pitchers] and just watching video constantly and learning what we like to do, he's fitting right in really quick.''

The Yankees hit three homers -- back-to-back shots by Jorge Posada and Martin and A-Rod's slam -- in the eighth. Rodriguez also had a two-run double.

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