No matter the triple-digit reading on the thermometer, Nick Swisher and the New York Yankees were glad to be home.
Mark Teixeira hit a grand slam and Swisher had a three-run drive in a nine-run third inning and the Yankees ambushed the Oakland Athletics early for a 17-7 victory in the searing heat Friday night.
“That’s exactly what we needed. The past road trip didn’t go exactly as we wanted it to,” Swisher said. “Especially with the way the weather was and the way we got our bat going with our fans in the stands it was nice to play the way we did.”
Swisher and Teixeira homered with two bases-loaded walks in between as the Yankees had their highest-scoring inning of the season — it was also the most runs allowed by the A’s in an inning in 2011. The big inning followed a five-run burst against Trevor Cahill (8-9) in the second and sent Oakland to its 11th straight loss against New York.
The Yankees needed only one inning to perk up after arriving home at 3:30 a.m. from a 4-4 trip played entirely on artificial turf. With temperatures in New York topping 100 degrees, the Yankees skipped batting practice — Oakland was out there in the blazing sun and stifling humidity.
Derek Jeter drove in three runs and Swisher matched a career high with five RBIs for the Yankees. Backup catcher Francisco Cervelli reached base five times with three hits and two walks and scored three runs. The 17 runs were their most at the new Yankee Stadium.
Jemile Weeks returned to Oakland’s lineup after missing a game with a sore right foot and had a two-run single among his three hits. Cliff Pennington hit a two-run homer and drove in three runs against a listless Phil Hughes. But seven Oakland pitchers allowed nine walks in a 3-hour, 41-minute game.
“To our credit, at least we battled back and scored some runs and didn’t quit,” Melvin said. “But, yeah, it got out of hand.”
Hector Noesi (2-0) pitched 3 2-3 innings of four-hit ball.
While manager Joe Girardi said he remembers a teammate once putting lettuce on his head to cool off, players on both teams didn’t appear to resort to such extreme measures with the thermometer at 100 for a 7:08 p.m. first pitch. The Yankees posted in the clubhouse a list of suggestions for avoiding dehydration and promoting recovery for Saturday’s 1:05 p.m. start.
Looking for his first win in the Bronx this season, Hughes struggled from the start. He walked two and gave up an RBI double to Scott Sizemore in the first. Pennington had a run-scoring single in the second and a two-run homer in the fourth. Hughes slammed the rosin bag when Girardi came to remove him with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth and leading 14-5.
“Just frustrating that this outing didn’t go better,” Hughes said.
The Yankees exerted considerable energy in scoring five times in the second, using five singles, a walk, a sacrifice fly and some hustle from Brett Gardner to go up 5-2.
After Eduardo Nunez had an opposite field single to right for the first run, Gardner, the leadoff batter, hit a slow chopper between first and second that Weeks fielded and tossed to Cahill. Gardner dived for the bag as Cahill lunged to touch the base and Gardner was called safe although replays indicated that Cahill touched the side of the base first as another run scored.
“I think it makes our lineup deeper right now with how well Gardy’s doing, getting on base, stealing bases,” Teixeira said. “I love having him as the leadoff hitter right now.”
Jeter also went the other way for a two-run single for hit No. 3,011, passing Wade Boggs for 25th place. Curtis Granderson, starting in the No. 3 hole for the first time, hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-2.
Cahill allowed the five batters he faced in the third to reach — including Swisher’s 11th homer — before being pulled for Michael Wuertz, who fared no better. Wuertz walked Jeter and Granderson with the bases loaded before Teixeira connected for his sixth grand slam — Teixeira led off the inning with a walk.
“That was big for me. July has not been kind to me,” said Teixeira, who hit his 26th homer but first since June 30.
Cahill has lost his last four decisions going back to June 30. The 2-plus innings and 10 runs were career worsts. He allowed 12 of the 17 men he faced reach base and his ERA went from 3.16 to 3.77.
“It was a little tough to get a grip on the ball. But, other than that, I felt fine out there,” Cahill said. “It’s kind of embarrassing. I feel like I let the team down.”
Swisher had a two-run single in the seventh and Brandon Laird, in his major league debut, had his first hit and RBI in the eighth to give the Yankees a season high for runs scored.
NOTES: A’s hitting coach Gerald Perry was ejected in the fourth. … The last time the temperature at Yankee Stadium for the first pitch was 100 degrees was on July 5, 1999. It was 102 degrees at Yankee Stadium on the day of the 1977 All-Star game. … The Yankees showed a video compilation of Hideki Matsui homers on the scoreboard after the first innings. Matsui hit his 500th homer between the major leagues and Japan on Wednesday. He hit 140 homers with New York. … To combat the heat, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Landon Powell will catch Saturday to give Suzuki a rest.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.