That booming sound the AL East leading Boston Red Sox heard last night was not lightning from the fast-approaching Hurricane Irene.
It was the sound of the New York Yankees flexing their offensive muscle for the stretch run of the race for the division title.
Thursday night in the Bronx the Yankees mashed a major league record three grand slams to roar back from 7-1 deficit and claim a 22-9 victory that kept them one game back of the Red Sox.
Robinson Cano smacked the first grand slam off Rich Harden in the fifth inning, then Russell Martin barely cleared the right field scoreboard on the second the following inning to make it 10-7.
Curtis Granderson (fittingly) sealed the Bronx Bombers’ prolific night of slugging with a line-drive rocket to right-center to clear the bases in the eighth. (Watch MLB.com video here.)
The 22-run barrage was the Yankees’ highest total since a 2000 game in Boston, and the team’s five home runs tied a club record set in 1931. With all the storied sluggers to put on the pinstripes, Granderson, for one, was shocked to here of the night’s milestones.
““I’m surprised it hadn’t been done before with all the great teams and great individual hitters that have come throughout the course of the game.”
The Athletics’ pitching staff did it’s part to help the cause, issuing 13 walks that sent 16 Yankees to the plate with the bases loaded.
Said A’s interim manager Bob Melvin: “It only counts as one, but it was definitely embarrassing.”
New York captain Derek Jeter had his fair share of opportunities to join the party — he came to the plate with the bases loaded four times but grounded out twice, struck out and walked.
“You’re not going to see it again, probably,” Jeter said of the grand slam showcase. “You can’t explain it.”
Lost in the spectacle was former backstop fixture Jorge Posada playing middle infield for the first time since his first minor league season. The Yankees have struggled to find a place for the rapidly-declining hitter (.244, 11 home runs, 38 RBI), and Thursday, after Posada begged his way onto the field in the ninth inning, they let the 40-year-old play second base.
Posada converted an out on the only ball hit to him, it just so happened to be a one-hop throw to first on a groundball.
Don’t expect to see Posada bumping Cano from his everyday spot anytime soon.
“Now you guys know why they moved me behind the plate. I told Joe [Girardi] I wanted to go in there. Good glove, no throw," said Posada after the game. "It'd been a while. It's been a long time since I took a ground ball on the infield.”