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Gardner Hits Grand Slam In Yanks Big Inning

Bronx, NY (Sports Network) – Brett Gardner hit his first career grand slam during New York’s game-altering 11-run third inning, helping the Yankees roll to an 11-3 drubbing of the Blue Jays.

Alex Rodriguez drove in four runs, while Mark Teixeira doubled twice and knocked in a pair for the Yanks, who had lost four of six coming in.

The offensive outburst was more than enough behind Andy Pettitte (10-2), who gave up three runs on five hits and a walk over a six-inning start.

Toronto’s Ricky Romero (6-5) saw his earned-run average rise by over a half- run, yielding eight runs on seven hits and two walks in only 2 2/3 innings, the shortest outing of the young left-hander’s brief career.

Jose Bautista hit his 21st home run of the season and Alex Gonzalez added a solo blast for the Blue Jays, who snapped a five-game skid in the opener of this three-game series with an 11-inning win on Friday.

Toronto had gone a season-long five straight games without hitting a home run, but Bautista quickly remedied that with a two-run shot to center in the first.

Romero got out of trouble the opening two innings but faltered disastrously in the third. New York, which was hitless in 25 straight at-bats with runners in scoring position heading into the inning, loaded the bases with no outs.

Teixeira brought in a pair with a two-run double down the third-base line, and Rodriguez plated the go-ahead run with a groundout to short. Robinson Cano’s RBI single to right made it 4-2, and the hosts again filled the bags in front of Gardner, who smacked a payoff pitch over the right-field wall for a grand slam, signaling the end of Romero’s forgettable day.

Brian Tallet came in and proceeded to walk the bases loaded. The reliever appeared to get out of the jam, but left fielder John McDonald lost Rodriguez’s routine fly ball in the sun. Rodriguez was credited with a bases- clearing double and the Yankees suddenly led, 11-2. The 37-minute half-inning ended on Cano’s lineout to right.

Gonzalez’s leadoff round-tripper in the sixth accounted for the final score.

New York’s 11-run third inning tied Toronto’s franchise record for most allowed in one frame, set in the seventh inning of a 16-12 loss to the Kansas City Royals on August 6, 1979…Romero’s ERA rose from 2.83 to 3.39…Pettitte improved to 21-12 lifetime against the Blue Jays…Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter walked three times in the win…New York’s Dustin Moseley and Toronto’s Casey Janssen each tossed two perfect innings of relief.