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NYY@OAK: Granderson jacks his 17th homer in the first

OAKLAND -- Out of habit, Curtis Granderson still checks the lineup card every day when he walks in to the Yankees clubhouse, but the days when his name disappears due to a left-handed starter are long gone.

His struggles against southpaws a thing of the past, Granderson homered and drove in four runs to lead the Yankees' charge as they pounded the Athletics, 10-3, on Tuesday at Oakland Coliseum.

"I knew it was there, it was just a matter of getting it back," said Granderson, who has hit nine of his team-leading 17 homers off lefties. "I had to do it to get to the big leagues, I just ran into a couple bumps in the road."

Granderson got the Yankees started right out of the gate with a two-run blast in the first inning off Brett Anderson, who would leave rocked for career highs in runs allowed (10) and hits (11) by the sixth inning.

Alex Rodriguez had three hits and collected another three RBIs, while Robinson Cano also slugged a two-run homer, providing more than enough support for New York starter Freddy Garcia.

"We have a good lineup," manager Joe Girardi said. "We have a deep lineup and we have patient hitters that know how to work the count and foul pitches off. When guys make some mistakes, they get to them."

The Yankees' third consecutive victory was credited to Garcia, who held the Athletics to three runs over seven innings, posting a win for the second straight start.

David DeJesus drove in all three of Oakland's runs with a third-inning single and a two-run homer in the fifth, his fifth.

Other than that, the soft-tossing Garcia showcased a knack for getting out of trouble, including stranding the bases loaded in the fourth by getting Andy LaRoche to bounce into a fielder's choice.

"I'm not really surprised," Garcia said. "I've been in this game for a long time. I know how to go out there and do my business and get people out."

Not to say that Garcia didn't have his close calls. In the sixth, Kevin Kouzmanoff blasted a rocket back to the mound that Garcia barely saw.

It somehow landed in his glove, and Garcia nonchalantly tossed the ball to second base to double off Mark Ellis and end the inning.

"I was lucky. I almost got hit in my face," Garcia said. "I don't know how I caught that ball. But I did. It scared me."

After Granderson's first-inning homer, Rodriguez drove in his first run with a third-inning bloop single. Granderson added a two-run single off Anderson in the fifth, knocking in Andruw Jones and Brett Gardner.

"The big thing is just trying to use what we've been working on, [hitting coach] Kevin Long and myself," Granderson said. "It's just being in there ready to hit, being down and consistently in position to attack the baseball."

Granderson's nine homers off lefties are the most of any big leaguer, and Girardi has marveled that he'd ever been tempted to bench his bat against southpaws.

"It's hard to believe," Girardi said. "The adjustment that this guy has made is remarkable."

Cano clubbed his 11th homer, a two-run shot, in the fifth, and the Yankees pulled away in a three-run sixth that featured a rarity: Mark Teixeira's first stolen base of the year was a steal of home.

"It seems you face one guy, then another guy that's an All-Star, a potential Hall of Famer comes up," Anderson said. "It's tough."

Anderson's last duty in the game was to walk Teixeira intentionally to set up a bases-loaded spot for Rodriguez, and the gamble didn't work for Brad Ziegler, as Rodriguez laced a two-run single.

Oakland then exacerbated the issue as catcher Kurt Suzuki threw down to first base, hanging up Rodriguez between the bases. Conor Jackson flung wildly as Teixeira charged home with what would be scored a double steal.

"When things are going right, they're going right," Girardi said.

The Yankees had plenty of bullpen help at the ready, having enjoyed long efforts from CC Sabathia on Sunday in Seattle and Bartolo Colon on Monday against the A's.

They'd barely need it, as Garcia scattered nine hits, walking two and striking out five. Luis Ayala and Lance Pendleton finished up with a pair of scoreless innings.

Approaching Oakland, the Yankees had some reservations about the solid starting pitching they'd be facing, but thus far it has proved to be no match for their big bats.

Consider that the tag team of Granderson and Teixeira has already hit 33 homers, outslugging the entire A's roster, which owns 31 round-trippers this season.

Yet as they showed on Tuesday, the Yankees have more than one weapon to make sure the job gets done.

"We're trying to do it any way we can," Granderson said. "The fact that we're getting it from more than just one source is always a good thing." Comments