Friday, August 26, 2011

Yankees Set MLB Record with Three Slams; McCann Homers Twice for Red-Hot Braves

Players of the Day for Thursday, August 25, 2011

American League

The New York Yankees are the stuff of legends. The Bambino, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle are the names associated with baseball's most prolific and storied franchise.

Robinson Cano
Curtis Granderson
Add three more names to the list: Russell Martin, Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson, each of whom rocked grand slam home runs in the Yankees' most recent slaughter, a 22-9 blowout over the Oakland A's.

Over the first few innings, few in the stands or watching on TV would have suspected that history was about to be made. Rich Harden was on the mound for Oakland, and by the third inning the A's had raced out to a 7-1 lead.

But then Martin slashed a solo homer to right, just over the scoreboard and into the first rwo of patrons, giving the Yanks some hope.

In the 5th, Cano blasted his granny, cutting the A's lead to 7-6. Then, in the 6th, Martin delivered again, this time with the bases chucked. Two inning, two grand slams, a 10-7 lead for the aptly-nicknamed Bombers.

Exploding for six runs in the 7th, the Yankees put the game away without the aid of any homers. Cano, Martin and Granderson each added an RBI.

Russell Martin
After Brett Gardner singled in a run in the 8th, the bases were loaded for Granderson, and history was made, when he bopped his 36th of the season into the right-center stands, the third grand slam of the day for the Yankees, a major league record. Andruw Jones obliged with a solo shot, a fitting tribute to the Yankees' largesse.

Martin finished the day with a stat line that read: 5-for-5, three runs, six RBI, two homers, including a grand slam, a double and two singles. Dano went 2-for-5, with five RBI, and Granderson took over the major lead RBI lead with 103, going 2-for-4, knocking in five and scoring four times.

Despite the enormous win, the Yankees didn't gain any ground on the Red Sox, who flummoxed the Rangers, 6-0, and maintained their one-game edge in the division.

National League

These days, most National League teams just don't measure up well against the Atlanta Braves, who finished their four-game set with the Cubs by taking three of four, including Thursday's 8-1 triumph.

McCann: 2 HR, 4 RBI
The Braves dispatched Cubs' starter Matt Garza in five innings, getting eight hits and six runs (three earned) against the Chicago hurler. Atlanta catcher Brian McCann did most of the damage, giving the Braves the lead with a 3-run homer in the opening inning. He added a solo shot (his 22nd) in the 7th inning.

Atlanta cut down idle Philly's lead in the NL East to six games, and increase their wild card bulge to 9 1/2 over the Giants and 10 1/2 over the Cardinals, both losers on Thursday.

The Braves have been so hot, it's hard to imagine them not catching the Phillies. They're 14-4 since August 7, as the Phillies have gone 9-6 over the same span.

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