Rivera closes out A's for series winJul 24, 2011 - 10:47 PM
But just when it looked like they might have a chance, the bid was stopped by a familiar arm -- twice.
Curtis Granderson belted a two-run homer, Bartolo Colon threw seven strong innings and Mariano Rivera escaped sticky jams in the eighth and ninth innings Sunday to give the Yankees a 7-5 win over the A's in the finale of their three-game series.
Oakland, after snapping an 11-game losing streak to the Yankees on Saturday, was trying to beat them in back-to-back games for the first time in more than four years.
But Rivera stopped a two-run rally in the eighth, coming out of the bullpen to end it with just two pitches. He gave up a run in the ninth, but the A's left the bases loaded when David DeJesus lined into an unassisted double play to first baseman Mark Teixeira to end the game.
Former Yankee Hideki Matsui was 5-for-5 with an RBI double for the A's, who have lost 14 of their last 16 games in the Bronx.
Colon (7-6) snapped a three-start losing streak, giving up two runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four. The 38-year-old righty also beat the A's on May 30 with a four-hit shutout and is 8-5 against them in his career.
"I thought he looked really good," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "The two runs he gave up, the first couple balls weren't hit very hard."
Gio Gonzalez (9-7) lasted just 4 2/3 innings for the A's and was pulled during a three-run New York rally. It was the second time he was hit hard by the Yankees this season after surrendering four runs in 6 1/3 innings on June 1.
Sunday, the 25-year-old lefty had his worst statistical outing of the year, allowing seven hits, six runs and three walks while striking out five.
"They worked the count pretty good," said Gonzalez. "But like I said, you have to go out there and continue to pound the strike zone. They're good hitters."
Despite losing two of three in this series, the A's continued to show life at the plate. They have scored 46 runs in nine games since the break after totaling just 43 in 18 games before it.
They plated two off David Robertson in the eighth on doubles by Matsui and Kurt Suzuki, pulling within 6-4. But Rivera came out of the bullpen and got Cliff Pennington on a broken-bat grounder to second base.
After Derek Jeter's RBI ground out made it 7-4, the A's came alive with one out in the top of the ninth on four consecutive singles by Jemile Weeks, Coco Crisp, Matsui and Josh Willingham, who drove in Weeks.
The hardest-hit ball of the inning might have been DeJesus' shot up the line -- but it was right to Teixeira, who stepped on the bag for the third out.
Rivera has at least two saves against Oakland in each of the last four seasons. He picked up his 25th save of the year -- extending his MLB record to 15 seasons with at least that many.
"To (even) think of anyone being a closer for 15 years is mind-boggling," said Girardi.
The A's took a 2-0 lead in the second inning with three straight two-out hits -- and one botched play by Yankees catcher Russell Martin, who made it his business the rest of the day to atone for the mistake.
Suzuki doubled and scored on Pennington's single, sliding safely underneath Nick Swisher's strong one-hop throw from center field when Martin inexplicably failed to catch it, letting it bounce under his glove.
Pennington moved up to second base on the throw home and came around on Eric Sogard's double for the second run.
Martin hit a two-out single in the second inning, stole second base and was driven in by Andruw Jones' single. He also scored on Eduardo Nunez's two-run double off the left field wall in the fourth, which gave New York a 3-2 lead.
In the fifth, Martin got his chance on defense.
Sogard walked to lead off the inning and tried to score on Matsui's double to Granderson in center field. Robinson Cano's relay throw was high, but Martin leaped to catch it and hit the ground in time to make the inning-ending tag.
Jeter walked to lead off the fifth and Granderson followed with his 27th homer of the season, a tape-measure shot to right field. Teixeira then singled, but Gonzalez got two outs before Martin and Jones chased him with back-to-back base hits to score Teixeira and make it 6-2.
"I was in the zone," said Gonzalez. "There's just no explanation for what happened. I just have to put this behind me and continue to move forward."
Fautino De Los Santos came in to get the final out of the inning.
The A's lost despite outhitting the Yankees 15-9...Matsui's last five-hit game was on July 22, 2007 as a member of the Yankees. He was 5-for-6 in a 21-4 win over the Rays...Gonzalez fell to 1-4 against the Yankees. Sunday marked his second loss in his last six decisions...The A's fell to 4-3 in their last seven and are headed back to Oakland for a seven-game homestand that kicks off Monday with the opener of a four-game series against the Rays...The Yankees are 6-3 in their last nine games and will continue a 10-game homestand with three games against the Mariners starting Monday.
- OAKLAND: 5
NEW YORK: 7
Jul 24 4:26 PM
- Josh Willingham single to left scored Jemile Weeks with one out. On the play, Hideki Matsui advances to second and Coco Crisp advances to third. Bases loaded and David DeJesus due up.
Athletics 5, Yankees 7 Top 9, 1 OutJul 24 4:25 PM
- Derek Jeter ground out short to first scored Eduardo Nunez with two outs. None on and Curtis Granderson due up.
Athletics 4, Yankees 7 Bot 8, 2 OutsJul 24 4:12 PM
- Kurt Suzuki double to right center scored Hideki Matsui with two outs. On the play, Josh Willingham advances to third. Runners on second and third and Cliff Pennington due up.
Athletics 4, Yankees 6 Top 8, 2 OutsJul 24 3:59 PM
- Hideki Matsui double to left center scored Coco Crisp with none out. Runner on second and Josh Willingham due up.
Athletics 3, Yankees 6 Top 8, 0 OutsJul 24 3:46 PM
- Andruw Jones single to short scored Mark Teixeira with two outs. On the play, Russell Martin advances to second. Runners on first and second and Eduardo Nunez due up.
Athletics 2, Yankees 6 Bot 5, 2 OutsJul 24 2:53 PM
- Curtis Granderson none-out, two-run Home Run (27) to right scored Derek Jeter. Mark Teixeira due up.
Athletics 2, Yankees 5 Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 24 2:42 PM
- Brandon Laird struck out swinging to end the inning.
Athletics 2, Yankees 3 End 4Jul 24 2:22 PM
- Andruw Jones single to center scored Russell Martin with two outs. Runner on first and Eduardo Nunez due up.
Athletics 2, Yankees 1 Bot 2, 2 OutsJul 24 1:44 PM
- Eric Sogard double to right center scored Cliff Pennington with two outs. Runner on second and Jemile Weeks due up.
Athletics 2, Yankees 0 Top 2, 2 OutsJul 24 1:33 PM
- Cliff Pennington single to right scored Kurt Suzuki with two outs. Runner on second and Eric Sogard due up.
Athletics 1, Yankees 0 Top 2, 2 OutsJul 24 1:32 PM
- OAKLAND: 0
NEW YORK: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Jul 24 1:09 PM
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