NEW YORK — Some of the old-timers out there were right around Alex Rodriguez’s age. Hard to believe these days.
Rodriguez added to his momentous weekend with a homer and five RBIs, Carlos Beltran went deep from both sides of the plate and the New York Yankees routed the Detroit Tigers 14-3 on Saturday night.
“It was a wonderful day,” manager Joe Girardi said.
Light-hitting Didi Gregorius homered for the second consecutive game and New York banged out a season-best 18 hits on Old-Timers’ Day at Yankee Stadium.
With former greats from Whitey Ford to Rickey Henderson on hand, the team presented Willie Randolph with a Monument Park plaque and surprised Mel Stottlemyre with one of his own.
“I always enjoy this day,” outfielder Brett Gardner said. “Those guys really set the stage for what we have here at the stadium.”
Gardner tripled, doubled and singled his first three times up against Alfredo Simon (7-4), sparking the Yankees to a laugher from his leadoff spot. He also made an outstanding catch at the fence in right-center.
“Gardy had an unbelievable night. He set the tone,” catcher Brian McCann said. “I don’t know if anybody’s had the cycle in the fourth inning.”
Chris Young homered off backup infielder Josh Wilson in the eighth and finished with three hits.
One night after he homered for his 3,000th hit with his daughters in the stands and later drank a champagne toast with teammates, Rodriguez was at it again.
The three-time MVP, who turns 40 next month, drove in a run with a sharp grounder in the first, hit a sacrifice fly in the second and launched a three-run homer off reliever Ian Krol in the third to make it 8-0.
“I just think he’s thriving on being back in the game, something that was taken away,” Girardi said, referring to A-Rod’s season-long drug suspension last year.
Gardner said it’s been a lot of fun for the Yankees to watch Rodriguez this season. “I hope he’s enjoying it. I would be enjoying it if I was him,” Gardner said. “He’s in some pretty special company.”
Beltran drove in three runs and homered from both sides for the 12th time in his career. New York matched season highs for runs and homers (5) in winning for the 11th time in 12 home games — the club’s best such streak since 2010.
The Yankees won their fourth straight overall and improved to 12-5 in June. They handed Detroit (34-34) its fourth straight defeat.
“We got our butts whooped. Not much to it,” said Manager Brad Ausmus, who spoke to his team after the game. “You’re going to have a couple of games like this each season.”
All the offense on a misty night made things easy for Nathan Eovaldi (6-2), who rebounded from a miserable outing in Miami.
Starting on three days’ rest for the first time in his career after throwing only 36 pitches June 16 against the Marlins, the right-hander took a two-hit shutout into the seventh.
Bryan Mitchell worked three innings for his first major league save before the remnants of a sellout crowd that numbered 48,092.
In his previous start, Eovaldi got only two outs and was rocked for eight runs and nine hits in a 12-2 loss.
“He was great tonight. Had all his pitches working,” McCann said. “He did a lot of good things.” Wilson wasn’t bad, either — all things considered. He gave up one run and two hits in one inning.
(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer)