The Yankees split the last two games with Oakland but take the series. Wow! that’s great but not good enough. They better wake up and go on at least a 5 game winning streak. After all, we are talking about a powerhouse team with the substantial talent to win 5 games in-a-row. Girardi has to focus more on winning the division and nothing less. He failed to do this last year and we had to go to Texas and lose outright.
Game 3: Yanks 7 A’s 5
NEW YORK — No matter how often Bartolo Colon succeeds for the Yankees, there always seems to be a faint taste of novelty in the air, as though his wild ride could end at any given moment.
Yet more times than not, Colon has kept a dream season alive, as he did with seven strong innings in Sunday’s 7-5 win over the A’s at Yankee Stadium. Believe it or not, Colon still seems to be for real.
“I don’t know what to tell you about that,” Colon said through an interpreter. “All I’ve got to do is keep working hard and get people out.”
Colon hadn’t picked up a post-All-Star break win since 2005, but he had little difficulty commanding Oakland with a two-run, eight-hit performance.
After 99 pitches, Colon had to sweat as Dave Robertson endured a rare rocky eighth inning, but Mariano Rivera walked a high-wire act of his own to secure his first four-out save of the year and his 25th overall.
“He gave us distance,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Colon. “That’s what we’re used to seeing from Bart, where he doesn’t throw a ton of pitches.”
Despite old friend Hideki Matsui tying a career high with five hits, the Yankees blasted A’s left-hander Gio Gonzalez for six runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, logging their 12th victory in 13 contests against Oakland.
Eduardo Nunez’s two-run go-ahead double in the fourth inning and Curtis Granderson’s 27th homer of the year, a two-run shot in the fifth, highlighted the damage.
“[Gonzalez] made a couple of mistakes, and we took advantage of it,” said Andruw Jones, who had run-scoring singles in the second and fifth innings. “We did a good job of hitting with people in scoring position, and Bartolo did a great job of going out there and holding them to two runs.”
Granderson’s homer was his 11th this year off a lefty, an old problem area that no longer seems to be an issue, but it hasn’t kept the All-Star from working in the cages — as he did early on Sunday.
“There’s a lot of stuff that needs changing,” said Granderson. “I’m over 100 strikeouts already, so that’s definitely one thing that sticks out a lot. If I just put the ball in play, a lot of things can continue to happen positively.”
Robertson allowed two eighth-inning runs on three doubles and a walk, and Rivera bailed him out in non-breezy fashion. The final out was a bases-loaded double-play ball lined to first base by David DeJesus……Read More
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Game 2: A’s 4 Yanks3
NEW YORK — Perhaps the greatest satisfaction the A’s will derive from snapping an 11-game losing streak against the Yankees, other than the victory itself, will come from no longer having to dissect the miserable stretch.
A’s manager Bob Melvin and his club will surely enjoy not taking part in such talk following Saturday’s 4-3 win against a New York team that had also won 13 of the previous 14 played between the clubs in the Bronx.
“I haven’t really had to talk about it too much,” said Melvin, who took over on June 9 and missed 10 of the losses. “I only had a day’s worth, but that was enough.”
Some of his players, meanwhile, downplayed the losing stretch, a couple joking they were unaware of it and others, well, insistent they hadn’t a clue about it.
“Did we?” Landon Powell asked, smiling.
“If that’s the case,” starter Rich Harden said, “then the team needed it.”
Sunday’s matinee finale still awaits the two clubs, but the A’s will have nearly 20 hours to celebrate the most recent outcome, one that was propelled by homers off the bats of Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui, along with a respectable showing from righty Harden and an even more impressive bullpen performance in the confines of a humid heat.
The A’s still stand 12 games below the .500 mark and well out of contention in the American League West, but that doesn’t take away from any win these days, especially one against a club that has essentially ruled supreme over them in recent years.
“We know where we stand,” Andrew Bailey said. “There’s a sense of playing for your pride and your teammates, and you have to go out and compete. We’re all professionals here, and we don’t like to struggle. I think, all in all, it’s been a frustrating year all the way around, so I think coming in here and winning a series would be big.”
Saturday’s victory marked a pivotal step in that direction.
Following the previous night’s 17-7 drubbing, Harden engaged in something of a pitchers’ duel with Yankees right-hander A.J. Burnett for five innings, receiving some help in the form of several highlight-worthy defensive plays — including David DeJesus’ leaping grab of a Derek Jeter line drive in the first.
New York was first to reach the board in the second frame on a single by Russell Martin, but Oakland responded quickly in the third when Matsui singled and scored on Willingham’s two-run blast to left field, marking his 13th homer of the season.
All remained quiet through the next two frames, with Harden and Burnett combining for seven strikeouts — albeit struggling to maintain efficient pitch counts — before the Yankees hurler departed with two outs in the sixth after loading the bases for Jemile Weeks.
Stepping to the plate against righty Cory Wade, the A’s second baseman collected a single to extend the club’s lead to two.
The cushion proved significant in the bottom half of the inning, when Nick Swisher tallied his second home run in as many days against his former ballclub. The outfielder’s long ball, his 12th of the year, sent Harden to the showers and brought about the arrival of Brad Ziegler.
“I don’t really like the way it ended,” Harden said. “That last pitch to Swisher, he’s a good hitter and has a good approach out there. They fouled off a lot of pitches and had a good approach at the plate. Overall, next time I want to go out and get ahead of a few more hitters.”
Swisher, meanwhile, reciprocated the respect.
“If you hold this lineup down for just a couple of runs, you’re doing something,” he said. “You’ve got to give credit where credit is due. He pitched a good game for them.”…Read More
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