Talk about bang for your buck.
New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira and right fielder Nick Swisher provided seven of their team’s nine runs in the bottom of the third inning of a three-game series opener vs. the Oakland Athletics Friday night at Yankee Stadium by hitting a grand slam and three-run home run, respectively, in a 17-7 win.
Oakland starter Trevor Cahill (L, 8-9) (2.0 IP, 9H, 10R), who coughed up a 2-0 lead in the second when he yielded RBI singles to Eduardo Nunez and Brett Gardner, a two-run single to Derek Jeter and a sac fly to Curtis Granderson, would get tagged for five more runs in the third.
After Cahill walked Teixeira to start the home half of the third, the switch-hitter advanced to third base on Robinson Cano’s double and scored when Nick Swisher hit a three-run homer (11) to right-center. After Swisher’s blast, Cahill gave up consecutive singles to Jorge Posada and Nunez, before finally being pulled.
His replacement, Michael Wuertz (1.0 IP, 3H, 4H), wasn’t much of an upgrade. Later in the third, Jeter and Granderson drew consecutive walks with the bases loaded to increase the lead to 10-2.
That is when Teixeira stepped up to the plate with the bags still full and went yard off Wuertz for his 26th homer on the year. The shot marked Teixeira’s second grand slam as a Yankee and sixth overall. It was also the third time a Yankee has hit a grand slam this season, and the first time it has happened at home.
The nine runs that the Bombers rallied for in the third is the most they’ve scored in a single inning this season. Their seven hits in the frame matched a season high, previously set on April 28 vs. the Chicago White Sox.
Swisher’s two-run single in the seventh—which brought his RBI total on the night to a career high-tying five—and rookie Brandon Laird’s RBI single in the eighth upped the Yankees’ advantage to 17-7, which would be the final score. Laird’s run-scoring single marked his first career hit and RBI.
The huge lead starter Phil Hughes (4.1 IP, 9H, 7R) was afforded would shrink soon after the Yanks’ nine-run third inning, though, as the right-hander gave up two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth.
Once New York’s lead was down to 14-6 (Hughes was charged for another run after exiting), the fifth-year starter was removed for reliever Hector Noesi (W, 2-0) (3.2 IP, 4H, 0R) with one out in the fifth.
“It was a rough one,” Hughes said. “Fortunately we swung the bats really well. We were able to win the game, but on a personal level, I really [would’ve liked] to have made some strides with my start and I didn’t do that.
“Fastball command was an issue, for sure,” the pitcher added. “Curveball, I threw some good ones here and there, got a couple of strikeouts with it. But, other than that, it was a struggle tonight to locate my fastball where I needed to and put guys away.”
After spending two-plus months on the DL due to what was diagnosed as a dead arm back in April, Hughes (1-2, 9.47 ERA) returned on July 6 and has since gone 1-1 and given up 11 runs in 15 1/3 innings. His only win this season came on July 17 at Toronto’s Roger Centre, where he held the Blue Jays to two runs over six innings.