TORONTO -- The friendly competition between the Yankees' odd couple of Brett Gardner and Matthew Holliday ("The Bald Brothers?") introduced a couple of guest stars on Saturday, with Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius joining the fun in an eighth inning that won't be soon forgotten.The quartet all homered off reliever
TORONTO -- The friendly competition between the Yankees' odd couple of Brett Gardner and Matthew Holliday ("The Bald Brothers?") introduced a couple of guest stars on Saturday, with Starlin Castro and Didi Gregorius joining the fun in an eighth inning that won't be soon forgotten.
The quartet all homered off reliever Jason Grilli as the Yankees padded their lead late in Saturday's 7-0 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre -- with Holliday, Castro and Gregorius going back-to-back-to-back.
Gardner and Holliday remain tied for second on the club behind Major League home run leader Aaron Judge (18) -- now with 12 apiece, a fact Holliday crowed about upon returning to the dugout.
"I gave [Gardner] his minute of being in the lead," Holliday said. "I let him have his moment."
This marked the fourth time the Yankees have hit four homers in an inning -- a feat they last accomplished on Oct. 1, 2012, against Boston. They first did it in an eight-run eighth inning on June 30, 1977, at Toronto -- when Cliff Johnson went deep twice, with Lou Piniella and Thurman Munson each homering once.
"It's pretty unusual," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You're probably not going to see that very often. But our guys [got] some good swings [at the ball], got some balls that were up in the zone and were able to hit them out."
Gardner gave New York a 4-0 lead, as he greeted Grilli with a solo blast to right field. Grilli recorded the next two outs before serving up consecutive blasts to the trio -- Holliday to left-center field, Castro to left-center and Gregorius to right field.
"I'm not going up there trying to look for home runs," Gregorius said. "I'm just trying to drive the ball somewhere and get on base for the team. I hit a home run, but I'm not going up there to look for it."
Grilli became the first reliever in Blue Jays history to give up four home runs in one inning. It was the first time the Yankees hit three consecutive homers since June 8, 2012, when Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones did so off the Mets' Johan Santana.
Judge said Holliday playfully "was talking some smack" to Gardner. The pair had a similar back-and-forth in a May 30 game against the Orioles at Camden Yards, when both players homered twice.
"He said that he couldn't let me take the lead for too long. We'll see who hits the next one," Gardner said. "Good thing the distance doesn't matter -- because if it did, he'd have me in that department, for sure."
Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook.