Yankees hit six home runs in display of power

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jason Giambi didn't take long to put his name

next to Babe Ruth's in New York Yankees lore.

The Yankees' Alfonzo Soriano hits a three-run home run in the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees' Alfonzo Soriano hits a three-run home run in the fourth inning at Yankee Stadium.

Giambi hit a grand slam through the rain in the 14th inning

Friday night, rallying the New York Yankees to a 13-12 victory over

the Minnesota Twins.

"This is the setup we've been waiting for since we signed Jason

Giambi," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "I don't know how many

times I've been asked when is he going to have his defining


He just did.

According to the Yankees, it was the 21st time a player has hit

a game-ending grand slam with his team down three runs. Babe Ruth

was the only previous Yankee to do it, on Sept. 24, 1925.

"Well that's not too shabby," said Giambi, who hadn't found

his groove after signing a $120 million contract with the Yankees

in the offseason. "I was just trying to keep the rally going, hit

a single. I just got a ball out over the plate."

The Yankees hit six homers, including a tying solo shot by

Bernie Williams with one out in the ninth. But New York stranded

nine runners in the first four extra innings and gave up three runs

in the 14th before winning in the bottom half.

This is the setup we've been waiting for since we signed Jason Giambi. I don't know how many times I've been asked when is he going to have his defining moment.
Yankees manager Joe Torre

"It certainly made everything worthwhile," Torre said. "This

was such a frustrating game with a five-run lead all those chances

in extra innings."

Shane Spencer led off with a single against Mike Trombley (0-1)

and Derek Jeter singled with one out. Williams walked to bring up

Giambi, who had been thrown out at the plate in the 13th trying to

score on Jorge Posada's double to deep center, with Denny Hocking

making a perfect relay after Torii Hunter's throw.

With only a few thousand fans left from a crowd of 39,470,

Giambi hit a shot into the right-center field bleachers that set

off a wild celebration.

"I had taken a lot of first pitches and I thought I'd try to

get the first one there," Giambi said.

The Yankees poured out of the dugout as Giambi rounded the bases

and mobbed him as he crossed the plate.

"Jason Giambi looks like Babe Ruth," Hunter said. "He swings

just like him from the left side. He's a great hitter."

The Twins walked off the field dejected after falling to 0-4

against the Yankees this season.

"My teammates battled for five hours and I gave it away in 10

minutes," Trombley said. "I just didn't get it done."

New York tied the team record for most homers in a game at

Yankee Stadium, doing it for the third time ever and first since


Williams hit two, and Robin Ventura, Alfonso Soriano and Posada

also homered. The Yankees have 20 homers in the past five games, a

team record, and lead the majors with 68 this season.

Sterling Hitchcock (1-0) got the win despite allowing three runs

in the top of the 14th. Bobby Kielty, Hocking and Jacque Jones all

had run-scoring hits in the inning.

The game lasted 5 hours, 45 minutes, ending on the 494th pitch.

"We thought we had this game in the bag," Hunter said. "But

once again the Yankees showed they can come back and bite you."

Trailing 8-3 to nemesis Mike Mussina in the sixth, the Twins

scored six runs in the inning, going 7-for-7 at the plate, with two

outs coming on sacrifices and one on the bases.

Mussina, 18-2 in his career against Minnesota, had retired nine

straight batters before Brian Buchanan led off the sixth with a

high popup. The ball fell for a double when Jeter, the shortstop,

miscommunicated with left fielder Rondell White.

The next five batters got hits, with run-scoring singles by

Kielty, Hocking and Jones, and an RBI double by A.J. Pierzynski

making it 8-7.

David Ortiz added a sacrifice fly and Buchanan hit an RBI


Rick Reed, who allowed four homers in 4 2-3 innings against the

Yankees on Sunday, gave up three more. Williams' solo homer gave

New York a 1-0 lead in the first.

After the Twins scored three in the second, Ventura hit a

two-run homer into the batter's-eye black section in center field

in the fourth.

With two on and one out later in the inning, Soriano hit a long

drive to left-center. Jones, who made two leaping catches in left

field earlier in the game, broke the wrong way on the ball but used

his speed to recover. He leaped at the wall and the ball bounced

out of his glove and over the fence for Soriano's 10th homer.

Game notes

Williams has two multihomer games this season and 15th for

his career. ... Reed gave up six runs -- five earned -- and eight

hits in four innings. ... Mussina gave up seven runs and nine hits

in five-plus innings -- the most runs he's allowed since giving up

eight in a 12-2 loss to Texas on Aug. 2. ... Ventura's homer was

the 23rd in the regular season to reach the black section at the

remodeled Yankee Stadium, which opened in 1976.