On May 24, 1936, the Yankees invaded Shibe Park in Philadelphia and pummeled the Athletics for 25 runs. New York's lineup that day featured rookie Joe DiMaggio batting third and mainstay Lou Gehrig tucked into his customary fourth spot in the order. Those two would combine for 36 career grand slams (Gehrig with a Major League record 23), and they still hold the top two spots in Yankees franchise history for career slams.
But on that date, it was not the Yankee Clipper or the Iron Horse who made grand-slam history. Instead, that honor was accorded to their second baseman, batting eighth. With bases-loaded home runs in the second and fifth innings, Tony Lazzeri became the first player in baseball history to hit two slams in a game and made the Yankees the 11th team in Major League history to have two in a single contest.
On Thursday, the Yankees, behind 21 hits and a five-home-run attack that included three grand slams, defeated the Athletics, 22-9. New York set a Major League record with the three slams.
The most recent team to hit two in a game was the Mets, on June 28, 2011. The most recent American League team to hit two in a game had been the Tigers (against the Athletics) on May 15, 2009. The Yankees had last hit two slams in a game on Sept. 14, 1999.
In Thursday's game, the three Yankees slams were hit by Robinson Cano (fifth inning), Russell Martin (sixth inning) and Curtis Granderson (eighth inning). Alex Rodriguez -- who has hit the second-most grand slams in Major League history -- had a chance to tie Gehrig for the all-time Major League individual record when he came to the plate with the bases loaded in the seventh, but he lined out.
|3||8/25/2011||Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Curtis Granderson|
|2||5/24/1936||Tony Lazzeri (2)|
|2||629/1987||Dave Winfield, Don Mattingly|
|2||9/14/1999||Bernie Williams, Paul O'Neill|
Dating back to last season, Granderson has hit 47 home runs in his past 162 games.
Derek Jeter went 3-for-6 with a triple and scored two runs. Jeter's first hit moved him past Rickey Henderson (3,055 hits) and into sole possession of 21st place on the all-time list. At 3,058 career hits, Jeter is now two away from tying Craig Biggio for 20th.
Jeter's 3,058 hits are the fourth most in history for any player through his first 17 seasons. Pete Rose had 3,372, Stan Musial had 3,116, and Hank Aaron had 3,110. Earlier this week, Jeter moved ahead of Ty Cobb (3,053).
For the first time in the live-ball era, the Yankees had three players (Granderson, Cano and Martin) drive in five runs in a game. They are the sixth club since 1920 to do this. The others: The Phillies on May 11, 1923 (Johnny Mokan, Frank Parkinson, Cy Williams); the Red Sox on June 8, 1950 (Ted Williams, Walt Dropo, Bobby Doerr); the White Sox on April 23, 1955 (Minnie Minoso, Bob Nieman, Sherm Lollar); the Rangers on April 19, 1996 (Juan Gonzalez, Dean Palmer, Kevin Elster); and the Expos on April 28, 1996 (David Segui, Darrin Fletcher, F.P. Santangelo).
Martin went 5-for-5 with six RBIs and had his fourth multihomer game of the season. The four multihomer games tie Martin with Dan Uggla, Jose Bautista, Lance Berkman, Mark Reynolds and Carlos Quentin for the most in the Majors. Entering this season, Martin had played 667 games and had one career multihomer game.
Martin is one of six catchers in the live-ball era to have a five-hit, six-RBI day. The others: Ernie Lombardi (with one homer on July 6, 1934); Walker Cooper (with three homers on July 6, 1949); Smoky Burgess (with one homer on Aug. 6, 1959); Victor Martinez (with three homers on July 16, 2004); and Joe Mauer (with one homer on July 26, 2010).
New York's 22 runs were the most in the Majors since the Phillies scored 22 on July 6, 2009, and were the most for the Yankees franchise since June 19, 2000. The Athletics hadn't allowed this many runs since April 23, 1955, when they lost, 29-6, to the White Sox.
Phil Hughes was the Yankees' starter Thursday but did not figure into the decision. Hughes has made 11 starts this season, and in two of them (this one and one on July 22, also against Oakland), the Yankees scored a combined 39 runs. Hughes did not get a win in either of these two starts. In contrast, the Padres' Dustin Moseley has made 20 starts this season, and in those 20, the Padres have scored a total of 51 runs.
Doug Fister (seven innings, five hits) and Tigers relievers Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde combined on a seven-hit shutout, as Detroit beat Tampa Bay, 2-0.
Valverde improved to 38-for-38 in save opportunities this season and tied Jose Mesa (1995) for the third-longest consecutive saves streak from the start of a season. The only pitchers to begin a season with longer streaks were Eric Gagne (55 in 2003) and Brad Lidge (41 in 2008).
Dating back to 2010, Valverde has converted 40 consecutive opportunities. That streak is tied with Dennis Eckersley (1991-92) for the seventh longest since 1969.
Fister improved to 3-1 since coming over from the Mariners to the Tigers. Between Seattle and Detroit, Fister has made 26 starts, and in 18 of them, his team has scored two runs or fewer.
In the third inning of his start against the Tigers, the Rays' Jeremy Hellickson tied a Major League record with four strikeouts in a frame.
It was the 58th time in history a pitcher has fanned four in an inning. Hellickson is the third pitcher to do it this season, following the Yankees' A.J. Burnett on June 24 and the Indians' Justin Masterson on Aug. 4. The last time three AL pitchers accomplished this feat in the same year was in 1999 (Chuck Finley twice and Tim Wakefield).
Hellickson was the 23rd pitcher to strike out the four consecutively. He was the first Rays pitcher to fan four in one inning.
Brian McCann hit two home runs to give him 134 for his seven-year career. That total is the fourth most in history for a catcher through his first seven seasons -- he had been tied with Yogi Berra.
McCann has 333 career extra-base hits, which are three shy of tying Roy Campanella for the third most by any catcher in history through his first seven years.
In Kansas City's 6-4 win over Toronto, Melky Cabrera went 3-for-5 with three runs, a double and a home run, and Billy Butler went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs.
Through 131 team games, Cabrera has 52 multihit games. That total at this point in the season is the third most in Royals history. George Brett had 57 through 131 team games in 1979, and Willie Wilson had 56 in '80.
Butler -- in his age-25 season -- has 175 career doubles among his 733 hits. The hit total is the second highest in franchise history for any player through his age-25 season (Brett had 870), and the 175 doubles are the most for any Royals player through his age-25 season. Butler is the 37th player in Major League history with at least 175 doubles through his age-25 season.
Adrian Gonzalez homered twice in Boston's 6-0 win over Texas. Gonzalez, who has hit five home runs over his past three games, has 23 long balls and 102 RBIs. The Red Sox first baseman leads the AL in batting (.348), hits (181) and total bases (294). He is also second in the league in RBIs and extra-base hits, and third in on-base percentage and slugging.
Boston's win gave the club its 11th shutout of the season, tying the Red Sox with Detroit (who also had a team shutout on Thursday) for the seventh most in the Majors.
There have been 259 team shutouts this season. Last year, there were 329 for the entire season -- the most in any single season since 1998, when the big leagues expanded to 30 teams. At this point on the calendar in 2010, there had been 255.
Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs. Through his first 24 Major League games, Martinez has 10 doubles, five home runs and 24 RBIs.
Through a player's first 24 games, the 10 doubles are the most in Astros history and tied for the 14th most by any player in the live-ball era; the 15 extra-base hits are the most in Astros history and tied for the 16th most by any player in the live-ball era; the 24 RBIs are the most in Astros history, and tied for the 12th most by any player in the live-ball era.
Here and there
The Cubs' Aramis Ramirez had a double in four at-bats and became the 13th player with 75 percent of his career games at third base to collect 700 extra-base hits.
Toronto's J.P. Arencibia hit his 20th home run, tying him with Darrin Fletcher (2000) and John Buck ('10) for the most by a Blue Jays catcher.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.