Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hurricane Martin Slams A's

The Oakland A's had already won the first two games of a three game series with the Yankees and had lambasted Phil Hughes to take a 7-1 lead Thursday afternoon. No one could have blamed Oakland for thinking they had a three game sweep wrapped up. But that was before Russell Martin and the Yankees had more grand slams than Denny's serves for Sunday morning breakfast.

Martin, who earlier hit a solo home run, added a grand slam to put the Yankees on top for good 10-7 en route to a 22-9 victory. Robinson Cano's grand slam had cut the A's lead to 7-6 and Curtis Granderson later added some extra icing on the cake with a Major League record third grand slam. Boone Logan struck out all four batters he faced for a well deserved win.

It was Martin though that ignited the Yankees with a 5-5, 6 RBI day. Unfortunately, his battery mate could match his success. Hughes gave up single runs in each of the first two innings and then was hammered and knocked from the game in the 3rd. The right-hander, who came in to the game with a 2.08 ERA in his last five starts, left the game down 4-1 and with two men aboard. Corey Wade then served up a gopher ball to Cliff Pennington for his sixth home run of the season.

Martin hit his solo shot off of A's starter Rich Harden in the 4th and the veteran right-hander would be deprived of a chance to win the game when he couldn't make it out of the 5th inning. Derek Jeter reached on a lead off single and Curtis Granderson followed with a walk. Harden struck out Mark Teixeira, but gave up a single to Alex Rodriguez to load the bases. Cano, who entered the game with a 1.221 OPS this season with ducks on the pond, crushed his second grand slam of the season to cut the A's lead to a single run. When Nick Swisher doubled, A's manager Bob Melvin had no choice to go to his bullpen. It wouldn't help.

Craig Breslow hit Granderson to start the 6th and out later Fautino De Los Santos walked Rodriguez. De Los Santos managed to strike out Cano, but after a wild pitch had moved both runners up, Melvin decided to intentionally walk Swisher to face Martin. The catcher went the opposite way for his third career grand slam to give the Yankees their first lead of the day.

The Yankees offense wasn't done though; they added six more runs in both the 7th and 8th innings, including Granderson's record settting slam and a long solo blast by Andruw Jones. A's rookie pitcher Bruce Billings took the brunt of the damage with seven runs allowed in just 1.1 innings pitched.


Granderson's home run pushed him over the decade mark in RBI (103) for the first time in his career. The home run (#36) also moved him one behind league leader Jose Bautista. The centerfielder also scored four more times to give him a Major League best 119 runs scored.

Derek Jeter was 3-6 and temporarily reached the .300 mark before making an out his final time up to drop him back to .299. He's had multiple hit performances in nine of his last 11 games.

Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 16 games.

Mark Teixeira was 0-4, but had 2 RBI to give him 98 on the season.

Jorge Posada finally made his big league debut at the position he was originally drafted at, second base. The final out of the game was a grounder to Posada, who wound up and fired a bullet in the dirt. Luckily, Nick Swisher made a terrific scoop to save Posada from an error on his one and only chance.

The start of the game was delayed nearly 1 and 1/2 hours by rain.

It was the first multi-grand slam day by the Yankees since Paul O'Neill and Bernie Williams both connected on Sept. 14, 1999 against Toronto.

The 22 runs were the most allowed by the A's since they gave up 29 in a game in 1955.

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