NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Robinson Cano’s grand slam gave the 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.
“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.”
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