NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — A sudden power surge by Coco Crisp knocked the New York Yankees out of first place.
Crisp homered twice and drove in five runs, going 4 for 4 with a three-run shot in the 10th inning that sent the Oakland Athletics to a 6-4 victory Wednesday night.
The loss dropped the Yankees a game behind Boston in the AL East when the Red Sox finished a 13-2 rout of Texas. New York has a 7 1/2-game lead in the wild-card race.
“They have the best players in baseball without a doubt,” Crisp said. “You go every position, there’s no letup. For us to come out here with our young guys and keep our composure in this intense ballpark said a lot.”
No. 9 batter Scott Sizemore was 4 for 4 with a tying double off CC Sabathia in the eighth and Oakland won at Yankee Stadium for the second consecutive night to clinch a series victory. The A’s had lost 10 straight series against New York, an Oakland record for futility against any team.
Nick Swisher homered twice and Mark Teixeira also connected for the Yankees, who played without Alex Rodriguez (sprained left thumb) for the second straight game. New York had dropped only two of its previous 20 series since June 10.
Oakland goes for a three-game sweep Thursday afternoon with Rich Harden on the mound against Phil Hughes.
“Feels good,” interim manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ve got one more game to play tomorrow. We win the first two, got to try to get greedy. We’ll talk about that a little bit tomorrow, but it’s certainly a nice start to what looks to be a tough road trip.”
Trevor Cahill finally held New York in check, Brian Fuentes pitched out of a seventh-inning jam and the A’s improved to 7-26 against the Yankees since 2008. The last time Oakland won a series against New York was the summer of 2007, when it took two of three at old Yankee Stadium.
Crisp also walked during a perfect night at the plate and matched career highs for hits and RBIs. The A’s have won six of eight following a four-game skid.
Fautino De Los Santos (2-0) struck out two in a perfect ninth. Andrew Bailey earned his 18th save in 20 chances, closing out the Yankees for the second straight night.
He gave up a solo shot with two outs to Swisher, who barely missed a game-winning grand slam against the right-hander Tuesday when the ball was caught at the fence for the final out.
Cliff Pennington and Sizemore singled with one out in the 10th against Rafael Soriano (2-2), who had been very effective since returning July 29 from a long stint on the disabled list. Jemile Weeks struck out but Crisp hit the next pitch, a hanging slider, into the second deck in right for his seventh homer.
“Today wasn’t my day. I left a couple pitches up,” Soriano said through a translator.
It was the second career multihomer game for Crisp — the other one came on June 18, 2007, with Boston at Atlanta. He went deep from both sides of the plate Wednesday, jumping on the first pitch both times.
“He’s an aggressive hitter, we know that,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He was aggressive tonight and he was the guy who beat us.”
Teixeira tied it in the eighth with a long leadoff homer on a 3-1 pitch from Grant Balfour.
Looking for his 18th win, Sabathia squandered a one-run lead in the eighth. Sizemore tied it with an RBI double and Crisp gave Oakland a 3-2 lead with an RBI single off David Robertson.
“It’s tough,” Sabathia said. “Obviously, a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, you want to shut it down.”
Derek Jeter kept it close by stretching out for Hideki Matsui’s low liner to shortstop, starting an unassisted double play that ended the inning.
Sabathia gave up a home run to his second batter, Crisp, but little else until the eighth. The big lefty also benefited from some sharp defense.
New York opened the sixth with a pinpoint relay when Weeks tried to stretch a long double. With the score tied and nobody out, Weeks probably would have been wise to hold at second. Back in the dugout, Melvin came over for a quick chat with the rookie.
Swisher put the Yankees ahead 2-1 in the bottom half with an opposite-field homer to left-center off Cahill, who allowed two runs in six-plus innings. The 23-year-old right-hander, an All-Star in 2010, entered 0-4 with a 13.50 ERA in four career starts against New York.
“I felt pretty confident out there. I wasn’t afraid to get hit. It couldn’t get too much worse than it did last time,” Cahill said. “Definitely when you struggle in a place like this so much, putting together a decent start helps out a little bit, your confidence. I feel like we had that confidence that whole game where we can finally beat these guys in one series, and we were lucky to be able to do that.”
Swisher also had a three-run shot Tuesday night.
Jeter delivered an RBI single in the third, his fifth hit in five at-bats. That gave the captain 3,055 career hits, tying ex-Yankee Rickey Henderson for 21st place all-time.
NOTES: Harden matched a career high with 11 strikeouts in his most recent outing, a 2-0 victory Friday over Toronto, and is 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four starts against AL East clubs. … Yankees GM Brian Cashman wouldn’t comment on reports that the team claimed Chicago Cubs 1B Carlos Pena off trade waivers. … After the series finale Thursday, New York plays 17 of its next 23 games on the road. … Cano extended his hitting streak to a season-high 15 games.
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