Charlotte Knights

Yankees slam Knights, 7-2

SCRANTON, N.Y. -- Kevin Reese hit a grand slam and drove in a season-high five runs to lead Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to a 7-2 win over Charlotte on Sunday.

Reese cleared the bases in the third inning with his ninth homer. He also lifted a sacrifice fly in the fourth and doubled in the sixth.

"I got a good pitch to hit and it was nice to break the game open a little bit," said Reese, who has been batting third in the lineup following the promotions of Andy Phillips and Shelley Duncan to New York.

"I don't think we're ever going to be able to pick up what Phillips and Shelley brought to this lineup, but hopefully we can scratch some out and get a couple big hits here and there."

Reese had a six-RBI game for Idaho Falls of the Pioneer League on Aug. 5, 2000.

Brett Gardner and Raul Chavez each had two hits and scored twice for the Yankees (56-43), who have won 10 of their last 12 games.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Jeff Karstens (1-0) made his first Triple-A start and fourth rehab appearance since breaking his right fibula in late April. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk while fanning six in six frames.

Karstens' last start came for Double-A Trenton on July 17.

"Today was a big jump from my last time out, just facing the hitters at the Triple-A level," Karstens said, "but it makes the game a lot easier when you're not pitching from behind. It's kind of been a down season for me, but I'm trying to take the positive out of it, that I still have another month and a half left, maybe more."

Chase Wright allowed one run on two hits while fanning two in three frames to pick up his first save.

Knights starter Nick Masset (0-1) was roughed up for four runs -- three earned -- on four hits and two walks in 2 1-3 innings.

Jason Bourgeois belted a solo homer, his third, in the third for Charlotte (47-56).

• MLB NOTEBOOK -- Wil Nieves' big hits came too late to keep him with the New York Yankees.

The Yankees designated the popular, good-fielding backup catcher for assignment Sunday once Jose Molina arrived from Minnesota, where he had been with the Los Angeles Angels before the Yankees obtained him Saturday night.

"I was surprised that this happened," Nieves said. "But I'm positive. I know something good is going to come from this."

Molina, a defensive specialist acquired because he hits better than Nieves, was batting .228 with a .242 on-base percentage for the AL West-leading Angels. Manager Joe Torre also cited his contributions to success as part of two division-winning Angels teams as well as the 2002 World Series champions.