NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — It was only fitting the New York Yankees finished August with one last long ball.
DJ LeMahieu homered on the first pitch in the bottom of the 11th inning and the Yankees beat Oakland 4-3 Saturday for their first victory in five tries against the Athletics this season.
“Finally got one against those guys,” manager Aaron Boone said.
DJ played Closing Time. pic.twitter.com/ia7fET49LQ
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) August 31, 2019
Aaron Judge hit a tying homer for New York with two outs in the eighth, his sixth in eight games. The 6-foot-7 Judge also took a potential home run away from Matt Chapman in the 10th, barely needing to leave his feet for a grab at the right field fence.
“It was about time I caught one at the wall,” Judge said. “I feel like a couple of those at the wall have been kind of slipping over.”
Gary Sánchez went deep twice and the AL East leaders finally took down the A’s, once again a potential playoff opponent come October. New York defeated Oakland in the AL wild-card game last year, and the Athletics are in a close race with Cleveland and Tampa Bay for the league’s two wild cards this season.
New York hit 74 home runs in August, shattering the major league record for any month. The previous mark of 58 was shared by Baltimore (May 1987) and Seattle (May 1999).
“It’s lots of fun,” Sánchez said through a translator. “We have a powerful lineup and any given moment any of our guys can hit a homer. That’s no secret.”
LeMahieu, a batting title and MVP contender in his first season with the Yankees, was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts before sending a 97 mph fastball from Lou Trivino (4-6) the other way to right field for his 24th home run.
The 31-year-old has been a vital part of New York’s offense all year as the team has battled a record-setting number of injuries around the diamond. Along with his 24 homers, 90 RBI, and .404 average with runners in scoring position — LeMahieu has played Gold Glove-caliber defense at first, second, and third base for the Yankees.
“I knew he was getting a hit there,” Judge said. “He just always produces.”
It was LeMahieu’s third career walk-off hit and New York’s first game-ending homer this season.
“It was a pretty good feeling,” LeMahieu said. “Didn’t really help the team too much at the plate today, so it was good to come through there at the end.”
LHP Zack Britton exited in the eighth with cramping in his right calf. No tests were scheduled.
DH-1B Edwin Encarnación could go to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to begin a rehab assignment Sunday that would likely last a couple of days. He might even be able to return on the current homestand that concludes Wednesday. “It looks like it’s imminent in the coming days,” Boone said. Encarnación has been out since Aug. 3 with a broken right wrist.
CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) was placed on the 10-day injured list for the fourth time this year. RHP Jonathan Loaisiga was recalled from Triple-A and threw several 99 mph fastballs to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth.
LHP J.A. Happ (11-8, 5.57 ERA) struck out seven in five innings of two-hit ball to win Monday at Seattle. He is 4-2 with a 3.96 ERA in his career against Oakland.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)