NEW YORK (AP)—The New York Yankees answered George Steinbrenner with a record-setting blowout.
One day after Steinbrenner lashed out at his $200 million team for its 4-8 start, the Yankees quickly showed just how powerful their offense can be.
“George challenged us, and the team responded really well,” Rodriguez said. “We needed to stop the bleeding.”
Rodriguez homered twice, doubled twice and finished with five hits. He drove in six runs and scored five times. Martinez hit a grand slam and knocked in six runs. Bernie Williams had three hits and Jason Giambi scored three runs, making a winner of Jaret Wright (2-1) despite his poor outing.
In a little more than three hours, the Yankees boosted their team batting average from .258 to .277.
“Maybe it’ll relax us at the plate,” Martinez said. “We needed a win— period.”
It all started in the second, New York’s biggest inning ever at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees sent 17 batters to the plate during an incredible outburst that lasted 34 minutes. They got 11 hits, including seven in a row, and 10 consecutive hitters reached safely.
“It felt like it lasted for hours,” Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford said. “That was a tough inning. I just hope it doesn’t happen again.”
Williams and Gary Sheffield followed with consecutive RBI singles, and Matsui singled to load the bases.
Rodriguez hit a two-run double to left, making it 8-0 and chasing Bell.
“We got a lot of breaks, too. Some of the balls were just out of their reach,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Giambi was walked intentionally by reliever Lance Carter, and Posada hit an RBI single. Martinez then hit a 3-1 pitch over the right-field fence for his 11th career slam and a 13-0 lead.
With one out in the second inning, every New York starter had a hit and a run scored.
The last time the Yankees scored 13 runs in an inning was June 21, 1945, in the fifth inning of a 14-4 victory at Boston. The franchise record is 14 runs in the fifth inning on July 6, 1920, against the Senators in Washington.
The last time New York got 11 hits in an inning was April 11, 1987, against Kansas City. And the Devil Rays set a team record for most runs allowed in an inning.
Rodriguez added a two-run homer off Carter in the third and just missed his third career three-homer game when he doubled off the right-center fence in the seventh.
“Over the last 10 years in my career, when I’ve had a lot of success, it’s been spraying the ball all over the field,” Rodriguez said.
Tampa Bay fought back against Wright, who barely lasted long enough to earn the easy win. He was charged with eight runs and 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
“I stayed focused. I felt fine going back out there. I just lost it and I had to work to get it back. The tendency is to try harder when you need to back off, just throw strikes, and I didn’t do that,” Wright said. “The guys swung the bats well, I didn’t pitch well.”
Pitching on only three days’ rest, Bell gave up 10 runs and nine hits in 1 1-3 innings, raising his ERA from 4.50 to 10.80.
“That’s no excuse for what happened. I felt prepared, I felt ready to go. It was some bad pitches on my part and some good hitting on theirs,” Bell said. “That’s one I’m going to put in its proper place and not look back.”
Tampa Bay LHP Mark Hendrickson was scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium because of a stiff shoulder. RHP Hideo Nomo will pitch instead. … Huff hit his 100th homer, surpassing Fred McGriff for the franchise record. … It was Rodriguez’s 37th multihomer game. He has 385 homers, tied with Dwight Evans for 46th place on the career list. … Rodriguez matched his career highs for hits and runs. … It was the third time the Yankees have scored 13 runs in an inning.