Gardner, A-Rod, Beltran play major roles in victory vs. Tigers
By Grace Raynor
NEW YORK -- On a Saturday the Yankees celebrated their former players on Old-Timer's Day, it was the current players who put on a show, featuring 14 runs, 18 hits and Brett Gardner nearly completing the cycle in a 14-3 win over the Tigers.
"He's been really good," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of his veteran outfielder. "When he goes, a lot of times we score a lot of runs, and he creates a lot of havoc on the bases. Just an outstanding job by him tonight.
"Our whole offense, just making [Tigers pitcher Alfredo] Simon work tonight. We didn't score a lot of runs in the first two innings, but he threw a ton of pitches and it eventually caught up to him."
Indeed it did catch up for Simon, who was yanked after 2 2/3 innings, eight hits and seven runs. But the Yankees didn't stop there, the offense plating 10 runs through the third, fourth and fifth innings as they continued to hope Gardner would accomplish the cycle. Girardi said he wanted to pull Gardner out of the game, but he opted to leave him in to have a crack at it.
Gardner belted a triple to right field in his first at-bat and followed it up with a double and a single in his next two. The only thing he lacked was a home run.
"Yeah, I mean, I was aware of it," Gardner said. "The game was a little out of hand, so I'm not necessarily going up there taking my usual patient at-bats trying to grind out at-bats like I usually do. Just went up there looking for a good pitch to hit, and if it happens, it happens."
In addition to Gardner's heroics, right fielder Carlos Beltran smacked two home runs for the 37th multihomer game of his career and his sixth and seventh homers of the season.
Alex Rodriguez notched five RBIs, the most by a Yankees player this season and the most he's recorded in a game since 2011. And Didi Gregorius hit his second homer in as many days.
The Yankees have won four in a row, which has them optimistic that some consistency could be budding. The 14 runs were tied for a season high and the 18 hits were the most they've had in a game this season.
"I think we're going to have our streaks where we're going to play good baseball, and we're going to have our streaks where we don't play good baseball," Beltran said. "That's part of playing 162 games. [But] for the past four days, we feel like we did a pretty good job offensively and pitching-wise."
Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.