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Granderson goes yard for his 21st home run

NEW YORK -- A feeling of normalcy returned to the Bronx on Tuesday, one night after the Yankees' lethal bats were uncharacteristically shut out.

CC Sabathia got off to a strong start, Curtis Granderson hit another home run, and Mark Teixeira was even hit by a pitch again in a 12-4 win over the Rangers in a game that started 41 minutes late because of rain.

"The good thing is how quick can you forget," Granderson said. "In baseball you get the opportunity to forget pretty quickly, just because of the way the schedule is. You can't get too high or too low, no matter what the previous day was. Just like today, a great offensive performance from everybody throughout the lineup. But tomorrow's another day and you've got to reset and know that they're going to come back looking to even the series."

A six-run second inning sent Alexi Ogando packing after just 1 2/3 innings and 53 pitches, as he was dealt his first loss of the season following a 7-0 start. The Yankees have had little trouble against the young reliever-turned-starter sensation, touching him for 11 runs the two times they have faced him.

"I just didn't feel very well," Ogando said. "I was not making my pitches and locating. They hit me hard. That's pretty much it."

Eduardo Nunez, Derek Jeter's replacement at shortstop, hit a bases-loaded single for the game's first run. Brett Gardner, Jeter's replacement as the leadoff hitter, followed with a check-swing RBI single. Granderson and Teixeira followed with two-run hits to cap the inning. Teixeira was hit in the back foot in the fourth, his team-leading eighth HBP of the season.

Granderson and Teixeira, the Yankees' Nos. 2 and 3 hitters, combined with cleanup hitter Alex Rodriguez for eight RBIs on the night. Granderson hit his 21st home run in the sixth, tying Jose Bautista for the Major League lead, before once again playing down the notion that he has become a home run hitter.

"100," he said when asked how many home runs it will take for him to concede. "If I hit 100 in a season then I'll say I am."

Granderson, Teixeira and Rodriguez were hardly alone in supporting Sabathia's eighth win of the season.

Nunez had a pair of hits, and Gardner had three hits and scored three times. Nick Swisher added two hits, including his sixth home run of the season. Robinson Cano ripped a solo home run to right, his 13th of the season, for the Yankees' 12th run of the game.

Jeter had been chatting with Nunez before his first at-bat, an RBI single to left that opened the floodgates in the second inning.

"He told me what kind of pitch [Ogando] had, and he told me [to] wait for a fastball," Nunez said. "He threw a fastball and I hit a fastball. [Jeter] said, 'Man, I told you.'"

Jorge Posada recorded a hit for the eighth straight game, and flashed the leather at first, where he made his second start of the season. The 17-year veteran made a pair of backhanded stops on the first two batters of the game, tossing to Sabathia for the out both times.

"We were teasing him, but we really weren't when we said he kind of set the tone early," manager Joe Girardi said of Posada, "because if those are two base hits, it might be a different ballgame."

Sabathia retired the first nine batters he faced before the Rangers notched a pair of runs off him in the fourth and fifth innings. Still, the southpaw was able to notch his fifth win in his last six starts, striking out six and walking none over seven innings.

He bounced back from a rough outing Thursday against the Red Sox, as did A.J. Burnett and Freddy Garcia before him. All three starters were knocked around by Boston last week, but have recovered to pitch a combined 21 1/3 innings and allow just six runs in their most recent starts.

Tuesday was the fifth time this season the Yankees have scored at least 12 runs, and the fifth time they have done it with Sabathia on the mound, a coincidence the ace had trouble explaining when told of it after the game.

"I can't," he said, "but I love it." Comments