NEW YORK -- Ah, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Just what a struggling club full of stars needs to get back into contention for a playoff berth.
The Yankees collected 25 hits, reaching 20 in consecutive games for the first time in team history in a 21-4 rout of the Devil Rays yesterday. On Saturday, the Yankees had 20 in a 17-5 win that finished off a doubleheader sweep. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Yankees never previously had 20-hit games back-to-back.
Shelley Duncan homered twice, including a three-run drive that capped a 10-run fourth inning, and Alex Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 34th homer and No. 498 of his career. Hideki Matsui, Bobby Abreu, and Robinson Cano also homered to give the Yankees six home runs in a game for the first time in two years.
Matsui tied his regular-season high with five hits, and every Yankees starter had a hit, a run, and an RBI.
"I think after a doubleheader it was impressive," Rodriguez said.
New York is 9-3 since the All-Star break, playing two series with Tampa Bay around one with the Toronto Blue Jays, and is scheduled for 16 more games in succession against teams with losing records.
With the score 3-3, New York broke open the game with 10 runs in the fourth. Cano tripled leading off, and the Yankees made it 10-3 on six RBI singles and a throwing error by catcher Dioner Navarro.
"It's embarrassing. It's absolutely embarrassing," Devil Rays starter James Shields said. "This wasn't us this weekend. We're better than that."