17 last night, 21 today.
When the fourth inning was done â€” after the Yankees had batted around, after 10 runs had scored and it had taken 29 minutes to record three outs â€” the thrashing that led to the Yankeesâ€™ 21-4 victory over Tampa Bay yesterday was still not complete. The Devil Rays had barely dipped into their woeful bullpen at that point, so the Yankees had plenty of time to pad the lead in their latest laugher.
There would be a chance for Shelley Duncan, who made his major league debut Friday and who began the day as the designated hitter to give Johnny Damon a day off, to emerge as a minor folk hero. He belted two home runs, giving him three for his career. That is 495 fewer than Alex Rodriguez has.
A few minutes after Duncan took his second curtain call of the day in the sixth inning, Rodriguez smashed a pitch into the left-field seats at Yankee Stadium for his 34th home run this season and the 498th of his career. In the eighth inning, a two-run home run by Robinson CanÃ³ put the Yankeesâ€™ tally at 20.
By the time the Devil Rays wearily departed the Bronx, the Yankees had scored 45 runs in 28 hours, a monument to how efficiently even a team with significant issues can take advantage of the truly troubled. The 10 runs in the fourth were the most the Yankees had scored in an inning this season and the six home runs hit were the most they had hit in a game in two years.
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