Oakland, CA – The A’s lost their lead and allowed Carlos Beltran to carry the Yankees on his back for the 5-3 win. The veteran outfielder hit a two-run homer in the sixth and drove in the insurance run in the eighth. Oakland tallied twelve hits against New York’s starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi but stranded eight in the loss.
“It’s great. At the end of the day it’s about wins,” said Beltran. “It feels good every time we’re capable of helping the team win a ballgame. Today was a good day for me, at the same time it was a good day for the ball club. We needed this one. Tomorrow we have a chance to leave this place with an even series.”
The A’s opened up their offense off Eovaldi in the first. Billy Burns led off with a single and Marcus Semien followed with a force out. Billy Butler grounded a single to right field putting two on with two outs. Josh Reddick singled on a line drive to left fielder Ramon Flores. Semien was waved home but was tagged out on Flores throw to catcher Brian McCann to end the inning stranding two.
Eovaldi wasn’t so lucky in the third, he gave up three back-to-back singles to load the bases with no outs. Burns got his second hit of the game to leadoff the inning with a single. Semien and Stephen Vogt followed with singles while Butler tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Reddick gave Oakland a 2-1 lead when he drove in Semien with a single up the middle and added on another run in the fourth.
“One extra base hit maybe breaks it open a little bit more,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We were getting good at-bats, we were getting our share of hits, but just not to the point where we’re knocking runs in early.”
Eric Sogard led off the inning with a single and Semien who went 2-for-5 drove in Sogard with his third single of the night making it a 3-1 game. The Yankees quickly cut the lead to one in the fifth, Pierla singled on a ground ball deflected by second baseman Sogard. Brett Gardner reached base safely on a fielding error by Brett Lawrie. And Headley’s RBI single made it a 3-2 game.
The errors proved costly for the Oakland’s defense. By the sixth, the night belonged to Beltran. He helped New York turn things around. Beltran’s two-run blast off A’s starting pitcher Jesse Hahn put the Yankees back in the lead. Beltran drove in another run in the eighth extending New York’s lead 5-3.
Oakland had their season-high two home game winning streak snapped. Hahn allowed fur runs through six frames, though one was unearned. He retired the first batter he faced but put two on in the first. Both Headley and Alex Rodriguez hit back-to-back singles making Hahn work early with eighteen pitches before striking out Mark Teixeira.
The “hot” Brain McCann continued his hitting streak with his thirty-third RBI scoring in Headley making it a 1-0 game. McCann extended his hitting streak to eight games. This is the first time that a Yankees catcher has eight consecutive games with a RBI since Yogi Berra in 1956. Hahn struck out Carlos Beltran to end the threat. He’d settled in through the next three innings until the fifth.
“I thought I was on a roll there,” said Hahn. That one pitch kind f ruined the night for me. Tried to go sinker, down and away there, and flattened on me. I got under it, hung it, and it was a good pitch for him to drive.”