Alex Rodriguez hit his 22nd career grand slam and had a six-RBI night as the New York Yankees pounded the Orioles 15-3 in the first game of a rain-shortened, two-game series at Camden Yards.
His slam, which came on a 2-0 pitch in the eighth off Josh Rupe, was New York’s fifth homer of the night and third of that inning. Rodriguez also had a two-run double in the first when New York took a 3-0 lead against Brad Bergesen.
Rodriguez moved past Manny Ramirez on the all-time grand slam list and now is just one behind the career leader, Yankees great Lou Gehrig, who hit 23.
The Yankees, for all their big lumber, had not had a four-run inning until they plated seven versus O’s pitching in that eighth frame. They had gone 148 consecutive innings to start the year without at least one four-run inning.
The Yankees added to their major league-leading homer total and now have 35 on the year. They also lead the majors with 11 multi-homer games.
Russell Martin homered twice and has six on the season, becoming the third Yankee with six homers. His three-run shot off Bergesen in the sixth gave New York a 6-0 lead. His solo shot in the eighth off Jason Berken came right after Jorge Posada’s two-run shot.
When Martin batted in the top of the ninth, he was hit in the back by a Rupe pitch. Brett Gardner followed with a two-run homer off Rupe four pitches later.
O’s starters had pitched to an ERA of 2.81 in the Minnesota series, Bergesen allowed six runs and eight hits over six innings. He is 0-3 with an ERA of 7.29 in four career games against the Yankees.
Adam Jones ruined CC Sabathia’s shutout with a three-run homer of his own in the seventh. Sabathia had given up just two hits through six innings and needed only 56 pitches to get to that point.
The Orioles lost for the 10th time in 12 games to fall to 8-11 on the year.