OAKLAND, Calif. (WFAN/AP) — Brandon Inge and Yoenis Cespedes homered as the Oakland Athletics edged the Yankees 2-1 on Saturday night.
Jarrod Parker shut down one of baseball’s best lineups for eight innings and the Athletics beat the Yankees for their fourth straight win. The Yankees have lost the first three games of this series and staring at the possibility of a four-game sweep.
It’s been an ugly series for the Bombers as A’s pitchers have had the Yankees’ number.
Parker (7-4) allowed only an RBI single to Raul Ibanez in the fourth to become the latest Oakland starter to baffle the Bronx Bombers. He struck out five and walked one batter.
Cespedes crushed a tying homer later in the fourth and Inge hammered the first pitch of the eighth off Phil Hughes (9-8) for the go-ahead shot.
Sean Doolittle struck out the side in the ninth after Alex Rodriguez singled for his first save in two chances after All-Star closer Ryan Cook worked the last three games.
The low-budget A’s have won 12 of 14 to climb into a tie with the Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles for the final American League wild card spot.
Inge, entering the game with a .198 batting average, pulled a fastball off the concrete facade under the seats high above the wall in right-center field for his ninth homer of the season. Hughes only gave up three other hits in the game, striking out six in 7 2-3 innings for a hard-luck loss.
One of those other hits was a tying two-out homer deep into the stands in left by Cespedes in the fourth. The Cuban defector’s 13th long ball of the season extended his career-high hitting streak to nine.
Rodriguez beat out an infield single to short leading off the fourth. After Rodriguez reached third on consecutive groundouts, Ibanez singled up the middle to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.
Not the usual New York way. All season long, the Yankees have been accused of being too reliant upon the long-ball. Lately Yankee bats have dried up.
The Yankees sent 99 batters to the plate over the first 23 innings of the series without a walk until Curtis Granderson took a close full-count pitch called outside leading off the sixth. Robinson Cano’s 23-game hitting streak also ended. He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, including the first out in the ninth after Rodriguez singled.
Doolittle also struck out Mark Teixeira and pinch-hitter Andruw Jones to end it.
The first three games of the series have been a far cry from New York’s first visit to Oakland in late May when the Yankees overwhelmed the A’s in a three-game sweep to extend their winning streak at the Coliseum to nine games. That was part of a nine-game overall losing streak for the A’s, who have recovered since then to post the second-best record in the majors to the Yankees since June 2.
New York entered the series with a streak of 43 consecutive games with at least three runs — the longest in the majors since Cleveland’s 48-game run in 1994 — but has scored three total runs in the last two games.
NOTES: Yankees OF Nick Swisher sat out the game with a strained hip flexor. He is not expected to play Sunday but is hopeful to return at some point during the team’s series at Seattle beginning Monday. Dewayne Wise started in right field in Swisher’s place. … Athletics LHP Dallas Braden and RHP Brandon McCarthy each threw about 40 pitches during a bullpen session before the game. Manager Bob Melvin said the team is still deciding on the next step for both. … Yankees ace CC Sabathia turned 32 years old Saturday. Sabathia (10-3, 3.27 ERA) will face Oakland’s Bartolo Colon (6-8, 3.88 ERA) in Sunday’s series finale.
Can the Yankees avoid a sweep on Sunday?
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