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OAK@NYY: Yankees make history with three grand slams

NEW YORK -- The new Yankee Stadium has been friendly to power hitters since its doors opened, and the Yankees enjoyed a romp through history on Thursday that was never done in the old place -- or any ballpark, for that matter.

The Yankees became the first team in Major League history to belt three grand slams in a single game, as Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Russell Martin each went deep with the bases loaded in a 22-9 pounding of the Athletics.

"It's pretty amazing," Martin said. "This game has been played for a long time. Pretty much everything has already happened. I'm waiting to see who's going to hit four -- I don't know if it's ever going to happen, but we'll see. Three is pretty cool."

Cano was the first of the grand-slamming trio to clear the fences, slugging a fifth-inning blast off A's starter Rich Harden that closed the Yankees to within one run in a game they trailed, 7-1, after three innings.

Martin started New York's climb back with a fourth-inning solo homer off Harden, then gave the Yankees the lead with his third career grand slam, a laser into the right-field seats off Fautino de Los Santos in the sixth.

"Having the bases loaded a couple of times on a day when you're feeling pretty good is definitely fun," said Martin, who set career highs with five hits and six RBIs.

With the Yankees leading by nine runs in the eighth, Granderson completed the trifecta with a line drive toward the right-field bullpen off Bruce Billings, immediately followed by an Andruw Jones solo homer that completed New York's barrage.

"You have to be pretty fortunate to be able to do that," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You've got to get the bases loaded a lot. It's a pretty crazy accomplishment when you think about it, three grand slams in one game."

Granderson peeked around a teammate in the Bombers' dugout to see a scoreboard notification of the Major League record, grinning widely with amazement at the history of the feat.

"When I saw it, I was like, 'Oh, wow,'" Granderson said. "I'm surprised it hasn't been done before, just with all the great teams and great individual hitters that have come throughout the course of the game."

Prior to Thursday, the Yankees had seen two players belt grand slams in a single game just three times, and never at home -- something last accomplished by Paul O'Neill and Bernie Williams on Sept. 14, 1999, at Toronto.

A season-high 13 walks, including seven in the seventh inning, helped the cause as every Yankees starter scored at least one run. The Yankees had 16 plate appearances with the bases loaded.

"I know our offense is potent, but that even surprises me," Girardi said.

While impressive, the 14 runs the Yankees scored on home runs did not amount to a record. The Rangers scored 18 runs on homers in their 30-3 rout of the Orioles on Aug. 22, 2007. Also of note, the Blue Jays scored 16 runs on homers when they hit a Major League-record 10 long balls on Sept. 14, 1987.

"It only counts as one [loss], but it was definitely embarrassing," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We got the lead early and just weren't able to hold it. It just got out of hand."

Girardi said that the long afternoon -- all four hours and 31 minutes of action, plus a one-hour, 29-minute rain delay to start the day -- actually felt like two different games, and with good reason.

Nearly forgotten in the onslaught was a poor start from right-hander Phil Hughes, who was hit hard and often to the tune of six runs on seven hits in 2 2/3 innings.

Cliff Pennington greeted Cory Wade with a three-run homer on the right-hander's first pitch, adding to a dreary afternoon.

But Hughes played the role of ardent cheerleader watching the power surge and strong relief from four hurlers -- including winning pitcher Boone Logan.

"It was great," Hughes said. "I would have liked to have pitched a good game to be out there with them, but for them to battle like they did, we won, and it says a lot about our team."

The Yankees avoided a series sweep in a game that also saw another historical tidbit: Derek Jeter's first-inning triple was his 3,056th hit, moving him past Rickey Henderson for 21st place on the all-time list.

New York batted around in three consecutive innings beginning in the fifth, sending 31 men to the plate and scoring 14 runs over those three frames.

"It's one of those days you know you're not going to see again, probably," Jeter said. "Guys swung the bats well up and down the lineup. You can't explain it."

The top of the ninth provided Jeter and his teammates with some good laughs, as Jorge Posada trotted to second base for the final three outs.

Posada started his pro career as a second baseman with Class A Oneonta in 1991, and sure enough, Anthony Recker chopped the final out to him. Posada crow-hopped and made a terrible throw to first base, but Nick Swisher dug it out.

"Now you guys know why they moved me behind the plate," Posada said. "Good glove, no throw."

There will surely be a call from the National Baseball Hall of Fame for some of the artifacts of Thursday's game; Martin said he'd give his bat to Cooperstown if asked, Granderson said he might volunteer his batting gloves.

The grand slammers may not really need the souvenirs, after all. This was a game that won't be easily forgotten.

"The fact that we as a team have done something that all the teams have never done before, it's pretty neat," Granderson said. "I think it speaks to what this offense is -- that anybody and everybody can deliver at any time."

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