NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Instead of being benched against southpaws, Curtis Granderson is thriving against them this season.
Granderson became the first left-handed hitter to homer off Brett Anderson in nearly two years and Derek Jeter had two hits to reach 2,983 for his career and scored three runs to help the Yankees beat the Athletics for the ninth straight time, 10-3 on Tuesday night.
Granderson struggled to get into the lineup against lefties a year ago, but has hit a major league-leading nine of his 17 homers against southpaws this season
“I knew it was there, it was just a matter of getting it back,” he said. “I had to do it to get to the big leagues. I did it early on and just ran into a couple bumps in the road and am trying to constantly fight the long haul of getting back. I’m still fighting it. It’s good pitch, good at-bat, followed by bad pitch, bad at-bat against them.”
The good are much more common than the bad so far this season for Granderson, who had three hits and four RBIs against one of the toughest. Anderson (3-5) hadn’t allowed an extra-base hit to a left-handed hitter all season and a homer to a lefty since Russell Branyan hit one for Seattle on Aug. 25, 2009.
“We are doing it anyway we can,” said Granderson. “The home run, getting on base, getting walks. We are getting contributions from everybody. That’s as close to getting a complete game.”
“Anderson is as good as they get,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “It’s hard to believe the adjustment that this guy has made. It’s remarkable.”
Robinson Cano also homered, Alex Rodriguez had three hits and three RBIs and Mark Teixeira took advantage of shoddy Oakland fielding to steal home for the Yankees, who have their longest winning streak against the A’s since 1964-65, when the team was based in Kansas City.
Anderson allowed a career-worst 10 runs for the A’s, who have lost 22 of 25 meetings against the Yankees. With back-to-back wins to open this three-game set, New York has become the first team to win nine straight series against the A’s since the team moved to Oakland in 1968.
Freddy Garcia (4-4) allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings of his 300th career start. He allowed only a two-run homer and an RBI single to David DeJesus to beat the A’s for just the second time in his last 10 starts against Oakland.
His best moment might have come with his glove, when he made a self-defense stab of a line drive by Kevin Kouzmanoff to start an inning-ending double play in the sixth.
“That was lucky,” he said. “It almost hit my face. I don’t even know how I caught that ball, but I did it and made a double play.”
That performance proved to be more than enough on a night the Yankees hammered Anderson, who allowed nine earned runs and a career-worst 11 hits in 5 1-3 innings. That dropped Anderson’s record to 0-4 with a 6.53 ERA in five career starts against New York.
“Seems you face one guy and then another guy that’s an All-Star, a potential Hall of Famer comes up and it’s tough,” Anderson said. “But it’s another big league lineup you have to go through and battle and I just didn’t do a good job of it tonight.”
Even when the Yankees made mistakes, they were able to turn them into runs. Rodriguez got caught too far off first after Cano struck out for the second out in the sixth inning. With Rodriguez in a rundown, Teixeira broke from third to home and scored on a stolen base when first baseman Conor Jackson’s throw was off line.
For the second straight game, the Yankees got a two-run homer in the first inning to jump out to the early lead before the A’s even came to the plate. A day after Teixeira hit his 16th homer in the opening inning off Trevor Cahill, Granderson hit his 17th after Jeter led off the game with a single off second baseman Mark Ellis’ glove.
“Career-wise he’s been bad left-on-left but it seems like he’s turned the corner this year,” Anderson said. “I just fed him fastballs trying to go in and left it out over the plate. He’s just covering all sides of the plate right now. A tough out.”
The Yankees added an unearned run in the third when Jeter reached on Ellis’ two-base throwing error and scored on Rodriguez’s bloop hit.
After DeJesus’ RBI single got Oakland on the board for the first time this series in the bottom of the third, Granderson extended the lead to 5-1 with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the fourth.
Cano’s 11th homer and Rodriguez’s two-run single helped the Yankees break the game open.
Notes: Jeter has reached safely to open the game in 21 of the 42 games he has been leadoff hitter. … The last Yankees player to steal home was Brett Gardner on April 4, 2010, against Boston. … Anderson’s outing snapped a streak of 28 straight games that Oakland’s starter had allowed four runs or fewer. … The A’s are giving slumping 1B Daric Barton (.206 average, 0 HRs) a few days off to work on his batting stroke.
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