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Tony Clark has a 3 home run game and...


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Clark helps Yankees make history

First team to reach 200 homers in four straight seasons


TORONTO -- Tony Clark made the most of his start at first base on Sunday against the Blue Jays, homering three times for the first time in his career and driving in five runs in a 18-6 Yankees victory over the Blue Jays.


True to form, Clark was a role player in a day that saw a lot of history being made. Teammate Ruben Sierra hit a grand slam in the ninth for No. 300 of his career. Alex Rodriguez' solo shot, also in the ninth, was New York's 200th of the season, making the team the first to reach that mark in four consecutive seasons.


"The biggest part of [being a role player], and that's why young kids have trouble doing that, is how you accept it and how you have to work the games you're not playing," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "That, to me, is the whole part of accepting a bench role, as a role player. It's not easy because when you're playing every day, the work you do is playing the game. It's fun to stay in shape that way, but when you're not playing, you've gotta simulate in your own mind that this is a game and really work between games. And the acceptance that he's had of this whole situation has made this possible."


Clark's first homer, a three-run blast off starter Ted Lilly that tucked just inside the right-field foul pole, put New York up 7-4 in the sixth and was his 15th of the season.


Home run No. 2 came in the eighth off Jason Frasor, a solo shot that gave the Yankees a 9-4 lead.


In the ninth, Sierra, greeted Kerry Ligtenberg with the grand slam on his second pitch to join the 300 Club.


"I don't know that he's going to stop swinging at balls over his head, but he certainly took the right path to get the home run," Torre said of Sierra's record-setting swing. "He didn't try to pull it. He didn't try to hit straight away and he killed the ball."


Clark then hit his 17th homer of the year on Ligtenberg's first offering.


"You've gotta work more often when you're not in there every day," Clark said. "This was something that I got into last year coming off the bench and getting myself into a routine where when my number was called, I could contribute something. You have good days and bad days. You have good days and bad days when you do play every day, but your work doesn't change from the standpoint of trying to put yourself in a position on game day to be successful."


Rodriguez came up with the bases empty and put the team into the record books again.



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