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A Grand (Slam) Afternoon For The Yankees

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Robinson Cano (Bill Kostroun/AP Photo)

Robinson Cano (Bill Kostroun/AP Photo)

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By BEN WALKER,  AP Baseball Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Robinson Cano’s grand slam gave the New York
Yankees a chance. Russell Martin’s slam gave them the lead. Curtis
Granderson’s slam gave them the record.

The Yankees became the first team in major league history to hit
three slams in a game, rallying from an early six-run deficit to
mash the Oakland Athletics 22-9 on a wet, wild Thursday.

“You’re not going to see it again, probably,” Yankees captain
Derek Jeter said. “You can’t explain it.”

Funny thing: The Yankees could’ve hit even more grand slams,
given all the chances the A’s presented them. Helped by 13 walks,
New York batters went to the plate a whopping 16 times with the
bases loaded.

Jeter alone came up four times with the bags juiced. He grounded
out twice, struck and walked in those spots. Overall, the Yankees
went 6 for 13 with two walks a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded.

In nearly a century of storied slugging, the Bronx Bombers had
never put on a show quite like this. Nobody had, in fact.

“I’m surprised it hadn’t been done before with all the great
teams and great individual hitters that have come throughout the
course of the game,” Granderson said.

With MLB in its 136th year and approaching its 200,000th
regular-season game next month, the Yankees knew it was a slammin’
day. Not until they saw a note posted on the video board about the
three slams, however, did they realize exactly what they’d
achieved.

“This game has been played for a long time. Pretty much
everything has already happened,” Martin said.
Except this.

“Definitely cool. It was fun to be part of it,” Martin said.

“When there’s nowhere to put them, they have to throw strikes.”

Martin homered twice and doubled, setting career highs with five
hits and six RBIs. Cano and Granderson each drove in five runs as
the Yankees pulled off their biggest comeback win since 2006 and
avoided a three-game sweep.

On a dreary afternoon, some fans headed home with the Yankees
trailing 7-1 after three innings and rain still falling in a game
that began after an 89-minute delay.

Turns out they missed the Yankees coming home _ over and over
and over.

Cano began the barrage with his slam in the fifth, a clean shot
into the lower deck in right field off starter Rich Harden that
made it 7-6.

Martin connected in the sixth off Fautino De Los Santos (2-1), a
fly that barely made it over the auxiliary scoreboard in right for
a 10-7 lead.

Granderson took his turn in the eighth, launching a no-doubt
drive into New York’s right-center field bullpen with two outs off
Bruce Billings.

“I was looking at it, hoping that it was not going to go out,”
Billings said. “I’m not thinking about trying to give up another
grand slam.”

It was the Yankees’ highest-scoring game since they got 22 runs
at Boston in 2000, and it tied the team record set in 1931 for most
runs in a home game.

The 22 runs marked the most allowed by the Athletics since 1955,
when they were based in Kansas City and lost 29-6 to the Chicago
White Sox.

“It only counts as one, but it was definitely embarrassing,”
Oakland interim manager Bob Melvin said.

The Yankees also did something special with their gloves.

Five-time All-Star catcher Jorge Posada made his first big
league appearance at second base, going in for the ninth inning. He
made the final play, fielding a grounder by Anthony Recker and
firing a one-hop throw that knocked over first baseman Nick Swisher
and left him laughing as he caught it.

“I threw it too hard. I got super excited,” said Posada, long
ago a second baseman in the minors. “That tells you right there
why they moved me behind the plate.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Posada began hounding him in
the eighth inning.

“I think at this point it was 16-8 and I was going to put
Russell at second. Jorge went and got his mitt and started telling
me, ‘I’ll go to second, I’ll go to second,”’ Girardi said.

“Everything that Jorge has done for this organization, the
numbers he’s put up and the year that he’s been through this year,
it was just hard to say no,” he said.

The Yankees had hit two slams in a game three previous times,
but never at home. They lead the majors with eight slams this year.

The Yankees scored six times in the seventh, helped by seven
walks in the inning. They added six more runs in the eighth, with

Andruw Jones homering after Granderson’s slam.

Cliff Pennington homered, doubled and drove in four runs for the
A’s. Scott Sizemore also homered.

“The fact that we as a team have done something that all the
teams have ever played this game have never done before, especially
all the offenses,” Granderson said, “it kind of speaks to what
this offense is.”

NOTES: The A’s franchise gave up at least two slams in a game
for the seventh time, STATS LLC said. Detroit’s Ryan Raburn and
Brandon Inge did it last in 2009 and the first came in 1936, when
Tony Lazzeri of the Yankees hit a pair at Philadelphia. … Boone
Logan (4-2) got the win. … Alex Rodriguez returned to the
Yankees’ lineup after missing two games with a sprained left thumb.
He had two hits and scored three runs. … Jeter passed Rickey
Henderson for 21st place on the career hits list and edged past
Jimmie Foxx for 20th on the runs chart.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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