It wasn’t that long ago regardless of venue facing the New York Yankees was a difficult task for the Oakland Athletics. Yet, since the 2012 season that has changed after sweeping a four game series at home and overall a 5-5 record, the best mark since 2007 a year in which the team went 4-2.
Friday night kicked off the series and A.J. Griffin pitched outstanding shutting out the Yankees for seven innings while Sean Doolittle and Grant Balfour finished off the shutout. Adam Rosales homered off CC Sabathia on the very first pitch of the game and Derek Norris added the second run of the game on a single for the only scoring of the game.
New York tied the series up after Bartolo Colon gave up two solo home runs to Chris Stewart and Lyle Overbay. After a sacrifice fly in the sixth got Robinson Cano to third, Travis Hafner singled him in. Jerry Blevins came in to get the final two outs to limit the damage. After striking out the first batter of the seventh, Chris Resop came into face Eduardo Nunez who tripled.
After a Stewart fly out, Brett Gardner singled in the run for the 4-0 lead.
The A’s did make the game interesting in the ninth as Yoenis Cespedes singled bringing in iconic closer Mariano Rivera. Brandon Moss then walked, Josh Donaldson grounded into a fielder’s choice to put runners at first and third. A single by Seth Smith broke the shutout and Josh Reddick brought the second run in on another fielder’s choice. Rivera got Rosales to end the game on a fly ball fly ball to right field.
Andy Pettitte got the start in game three and struggled to find the strike zone, yet it took until the third inning for a run to score and it was on an error and Dan Straily failed to get the shutdown inning by yielding a rbi single to Cano. Luke Montz got the lead back in the fourth with a solo home run and in the fifth Cespedes added a two run shot.
With a 4-1 lead Straily found trouble in the sixth as he allowed a lead off single, induced a fielder’s choice and then walked Hafner. Bob Melvin decided that he wanted Blevins to face the left-handed hitting Ichiro Suzuki who took advantage of a slider left up and doubled a run in. Jayson Nix struck out, yet Overbay singled to shallow center field to tie the game up.
Manager Joe Girardi made an interest move to bring in lefty Boone Logan to face three right-handed hitters. He got the first out of the inning that Cespedes just missed and Donaldson got a fastball to hit and did not miss to put the A’s back on top by a run. He also gave up a single by Nate Freiman and was able to get out of the inning without any more damage.
It got interesting in the ninth after Balfour gave up a single to Gardner, a wild pitch got him to second and Cano got intentionally walked. Vernon Wells ended up striking out to end the game and the A’s won the series 2-1.
With Oakland on a 10 game road trip this is a great start. Their next series is four-games and it’s against the Cleveland Indians.