BALTIMORE -- The Yankees have made their first historic mark in what could become an even more historically powerful offensive season.The Bombers set a Major League record when Greg Bird cracked his first career grand slam in Wednesday's 9-0 win over the Orioles. Bird's milestone blast was the Yankees' 152nd
BALTIMORE -- The Yankees have made their first historic mark in what could become an even more historically powerful offensive season.
The Bombers set a Major League record when Greg Bird cracked his first career grand slam in Wednesday's 9-0 win over the Orioles. Bird's milestone blast was the Yankees' 152nd home run of 2018, breaking the 1999 Mariners' record for the most hit prior to the All-Star break.
Tyler Wade then launched his first career home run in the sixth inning before Austin Romine blasted his sixth long ball of the year in the seventh, extending the Yanks' record to 154.
Bird launched his grand slam in the third inning of Wednesday's series finale at Camden Yards, winning a nine-pitch battle with right-hander Dylan Bundy by clanging a 76.7-mph curveball off the right-field foul pole.
"Barely [fair]," Bird said of how close the ball was to being foul. "I was leaning a little bit."
Bird's bat is starting to come alive; this was the fourth four-RBI performance of his big league career, and his second in as many games, after he accomplished the feat in Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Orioles. He has now hit safely in five straight games, going 5-for-17 with two homers and nine RBIs.
"When he's right, we really believe he's that on-base power presence from the left side," manager Aaron Boone said. "Him playing well is a big deal for us. Hopefully we're starting to see him get a little bit settled in and having some impact at-bats."
Wade came close to launching his first Major League dinger in the home opener but was robbed by Carlos Gomez. Fourteen appearances later, he finally got all of it, blasting a Statcast™-projected 410-foot homer to right-center. The ball landed in the hands of a Red Sox fan, who willingly returned it. Wade plans to give it to his parents, who also have the ball from his first Major League hit.
"No idea. I blacked out," Wade said when asked to describe how it felt rounding the bases. "But I was just trying to enjoy the moment."
Wade was greeted with an uncomfortably long silent treatment when he returned to the dugout.
"It was [long], right?" he said. "I know I've got to get them back for that."
Wade's long ball accounted for one of his three hits on the night. He hit a double in the fourth inning and a single, leaving him just a triple shy of the cycle for his first career multihit game.
"Earlier in the year, he got one robbed at Yankee Stadium," Boone said. "So to see him hit a no-doubter here and a couple other hits -- the old famous triple shy of the cycle -- a good showing for him. It was nice to see him have an impact at the bottom of the lineup."
Romine joined the slugfest in the seventh, belting his home run 400 feet to center field, as projected by Statcast™, extending the Yankees' lead to 7-0.
Mandy Bell is a reporter for MLB.com.