Bronx, NY (Sports Network) – Mark Teixeira belted a grand slam and Nick Swisher added a three-run homer as the New York Yankees shook off a sluggish start and sweltering heat to cruise past the Oakland Athletics, 17-7, in the opener of a three-game series.
Recently returned from an eight-game road trip, the Yankees spotted Oakland an early 2-0 lead, but combined for 14 runs over the second and third innings to dispatch the A’s for the 11th consecutive time.
“They’re all the same if you’re losing and losing consistently to a team,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It is a long losing streak, but I hate to think that gets in your head. You play a team enough where you should win some games from time to time.”
Derek Jeter went 2-for-3 to move past Wade Boggs and into sole possession of 25th place on the all-time hits list with 3,012. Brandon Laird tallied his first major league hit and RBI.
Despite the hefty cushion, Phil Hughes failed to earn the win, surrendering seven runs on nine hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. Hector Noesi (2-0) spelled Hughes with 3 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.
Trevor Cahill (8-9) continued his struggles against the Yankees, allowing a career-high 10 runs over two-plus innings to remain winless in four career starts versus New York.
Jemile Weeks marked his return to the Oakland lineup with three hits and two RBI, while Cliff Pennington added a two-run homer.
The Yankees, who appeared sluggish following their return from the road, were the first to falter.
Hughes struggled with command and the 100-degree heat in the first, issuing a one-out and a two-out walk to Coco Crisp and Hideki Matsui, respectively. Scott Sizemore, making his first start since being struck in the face during a bunt attempt on Tuesday, capitalized, slicing a 2-1 fastball down the right field line to score Crisp.
An inning later, Conor Jackson belted a leadoff double, advanced to second on Kurt Suzuki’s sac bunt and scored on Pennington’s single to right. Weeks, who fouled a ball off his right foot on Tuesday, followed with a single and Josh Willingham walked two batters later to load the bases, but Matsui grounded out to second to end the threat.
True to form, the Yankees got to Cahill in the home half.
Robinson Cano and Swisher began the frame with a single and a walk, respectively. Following a Jorge Posada fly out, Eduardo Nunez, Francisco Cervelli, Brett Gardner and Jeter each singled to the right side.
The barrage of base hits produced four runs and Curtis Granderson followed with a sac fly to left, as the Yankees took a 5-2 lead.
The floodgates were open and New York rushed through, opening the third with a Teixeira walk, a Cano double and a Swisher home run to center.
Subsequent singles from Posada and Nunez chased Cahill.
Michael Wuertz did not fare much better. He immediately allowed a Cervelli single to load the bases and, after a Gardner strikeout, issued walks to Jeter and Granderson, accounting for two more runs.
“You feel like you let the team down when you put a guy like Wuertz out there in the third inning where he probably hasn’t pitched before,” said Cahill. “It’s just definitely not a good feeling.”
Having batted around, the Yankees again sent Teixeira to the plate. This time he ripped his first home run in his last 70 at bats — a bullet to right which gave New York a commanding 14-2 lead.
Despite the cushion, Hughes proved incapable of taking advantage.
He hit Suzuki to begin the fourth then surrendered a homer down the right field line to Pennington. Weeks immediately followed with a double to left, advanced to third on Gardner’s fielding error and scored on Crisp’s single.
An inning later, the A’s loaded the bases with one down to push Hughes from the game. Noesi entered allowed two inherited runners to cross the plate on Weeks’ single, but the A’s still trailed 14-7.
“I didn’t execute pitches when I really needed to with two strikes,” Hughes said. “I kind of allowed them to fight some pitches off, and make the innings longer on me, giving up some clutch hits here and there. It was just rough all the way around.”
The AS’s would get no closer, and with the game decidedly out of hand, Swisher added a two-run single in the seventh.
Laird sealed the final margin with a personal highlight, ripping a single up the middle in the eighth.
“It’s very nice, especially against a good pitcher, a really good pitching team,” Teixeira said of the offensive onslaught. “Everyone contributed tonight, which is what you’d love to see.”
The Yankees current 11-game win streak against the Athletics is their longest such streak against the club since a 14-game streak from September 13, 1956 – July 12, 1957…Cahill has dropped his last four decisions overall…The A’s have lost 13 of their last 14 games at Yankee Stadium…Fautino De Los Santos threw two scoreless innings for the A’s and has allowed just one run in eight innings since being recalled from Triple-A Sacramento on July 1 for his third big league stint of the season.