Yankees tee off in historic fashion

Nick Swisher, left, celebrates with Russell Martin after his sixth-inning grand slam.

The best way to describe the fifth to eighth innings Thursday would be to say the Yankees enjoyed some really good rounds of batting practice.

Historic actually.

The Yankees became the first team to hit three grand slams in a game, rallying from a six-run deficit in yesterday’s 22-9 rout of the Athletics.

“It’s pretty amazing when you look up and see the runs that you have up on the board and what you put up the last four innings of the game,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I know our offense was potent but that even surprises me.”

Russell Martin highlighted a career-high day of 5-for-5 with six RBI by hitting a sixth-inning grand slam. That came after Robinson Cano sparked the Yankees biggest comeback in five years with a fifth-inning grand slam and before Curtis Granderson made history in the ninth.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Martin said. “Pretty much everything has happened in this game. I’m waiting to see if we could hit four.”

“The fact that we as a team have done something that all these teams that have ever played this game have never done before, especially on the offensive side, it’s pretty neat,” Granderson said. “I think this also speaks to what this offense is that anybody and everybody can deliver at any time.”

Martin became the first Yankee catcher since Elston Howard in 1959 to get five hits and was the sixth catcher in the live ball era to have five hits and six RBI. The last was Joe Mauer on July 26, 2010 at Kansas City.

Martin was also the fourth Yankee to go 5-for-5 with at least six RBI. The last was Danny Tartabull 18 years ago in Baltimore and the others were Joe DiMaggio in 1937 and Del Pratt in 1920.

“I’ve never been involved in such a day,” Alex Rodriguez said. “That’s why you come to the park everyday. We may never see that again.”

“It’s one of those days that you’re not going to see again,” Derek Jeter said. “You can’t explain it.”

After being down 7-1 through four innings, the Yankees put together an astounding show between the fifth and eighth innings. They were 15-for-22 with 13 walks and 14 runs and wound up going from being swept to scoring their most runs in 11 years and equaling their highest output in a home game.

“It just happened to be one of those awesome days,” Nick Swisher said. “Things weren’t clicking for us early but late in the game we turned on the after boosters.”

The real kicker to the whole thing was that Phil Hughes did not get the win for the second time in a month against Oakland in a high-scoring game. The Yankees scored 17 runs July 22, but Hughes lasted 4 1/3 innings. Yesterday he lasted 2 2/3, allowing six runs and seven hits.

That was the main storyline until Cano hit his sixth career grand slam by lining a pitch to right field. Martin followed with a drive that landed in the first row of the right field seats for his third career grand slam and Granderson easily reached the right-center field seats with his third career grand slam.

Follow Yankees beat reporter Larry Fleisher on Twitter @LarryFleisher.


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