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Friday, September 21, 2012
Swish's slam lifts Bombers over Blue Jays

By Ian Begley

It seems like Nick Swisher's always smiling. So it wasn't unusual to see him grinning after the Yankees' win over Toronto on Thursday.

But, in this instance, he had a good reason to smile.

Nick Swisher
Service with a smile, courtesy of Nick Swisher.
Swisher belted a towering grand slam in the Yankees' seven-run fourth, helping the Bombers mash their way to a 10-7 win on Thursday night.

It was Swisher's third grand slam this season and the seventh of his career.

"I'm just trying to catch Donnie," Swisher joked in reference to former Yankee great Don Mattingly, who hit six grand slams in one season.

Swisher remarkably has had four hits with the bases loaded this year -- and three of them have ended up over the fence.

"Yankee Stadium here in right field, it definitely helps out a little bit," he said.

This is the third season in which at least one Yankee has hit three grand slams. Alex Rodriguez did it in 2010 and Robinson Cano hit three in 2011.

Overall, the Yanks have hit 10 grand slams on the season, tying their franchise record for the fourth time. Their 30 slams over the past three seasons are more than double the total of any other team.

Said Swisher: "It's been a while since we put up some crooked numbers in an inning. It felt good."

BUMP IN THE ROAD FOR HUGHES: Phil Hughes came into Thursday night's start on a roll of sorts. He had allowed two earned runs or less in five of his last six outings and was coming off a shutout win in Boston.

But he struggled against Toronto.

Probably the best thing you could say about Hughes' night was that he got good run support.

"He was OK," Joe Girardi said. "He didn't really have great command tonight, but he had a lot of zip on his ball."

Huhges got into trouble in the second, forcing in a run on a bases on balls. He also got touched up for a two-run homer by Moises Sierra in the fifth.

"It was a struggle for sure; to not go deep in the game was definitely tough," said Hughes, who added that his fastball was 'all over the place.'

On the bright side, Hughes (16-12, 4.05 ERA) fanned nine Jays hitters in five innings -- including four in the fourth inning. Hughes is just the second Yankee in franchise history to do so. He's also thrown 180 innings on the season, a career high.

BIG FOURTH: The Yankees' seven-run fourth matched their season-high for runs scored in an inning. They did so on three walks, three hits and an error, sending 10 men to the plate. ... Derek Jeter (2-for-4) extended his hitting streak to 14 games. He's hitting .397 (25-for-63) over the streak. He also knocked in two runs on Thursday and has 11 RBI in his last 11 games. ... With Rafael Soriano unavailable after saving both wins of the double-header on Wednesday, Girardi called on David Robertson, who struck out all three hitters he faced in the ninth to earn his second save.