By: Malaika Bobino
Oakland, CA – The best team in Major League Baseball returned to Oakland. This time a different team emerged since being sweep in June. Now, they’re the hottest team in the month of July and things keep getting better.
Ending a nine-game winning streak at the Coliseum, the A’s won the decision 4-3 against the New York Yankees. Having lost 13 of the last 14 games against the Yankees, Oakland continue their winning ways with a record of 11-2 for the month of July.
“You want to treat it like it’s just another game,” said manager Bob Melvin. “But there’s a bit more hoopla wherever the Yankees go and certainly they swept us the last time they where here. It was important to get the first win so we don’t have to hear about how many they’ve won in a row.”
An unfamiliar face to New York is Yoenis Cespedes who made error early in the first frame, but that was quickly forgotten when he came to bat. He blasted his twelfth home run bottom of the inning giving the A’s a 2-0 lead.
It’s rare to see Mr. Perfect aka Derek Jeter make a mistake but it happened in the first. Robinson Cano hit a line drive to left fielder Cespedes who caught the ball with his glove. But when he moved the ball from glove to his throwing hand, he dropped it. Jeter assumed he caught it for the out and did not advance to third on the play.
Despite Alex Rodriguez pleading with him to move so he can run to second. Derek was tagged out at third while Rodriguez made it second it time to avoid the double play. A bad read for Jeter but good defense from Oakland to prevent any runs scored.
“It’s not a play your used to seeing,” Melvin explained. I’m not sure he [Brandon Inge] knew what was happening when he tagged Jeter out at third.”
By the third, the bats came alive for the A’s. Two more runs were scored for the 4-0 lead. Yankees pitcher Freddy Garcia loaded the bases and Seth Smith’s two-run single came with only one out in the inning. Garcia finished the night with 5 2/3 innings, surrendering nine hits, four runs, two walks, one home run and striking out six.
“First inning I had some nerves, I guess I was doing to much maybe,” said A.J. Griffin. “By the third I turned a page right there for sure.”
A stellar night for Griffin who retired eleven in a row through six innings. The righty did a great job of shutting down the Bronx Bombers and is the only third Athletic pitcher to start his career with five quality starts lasting six innings.
New York woke up in the sixth with four singles and scored two runs. Mark Teixeria’s sacrifice fly ended Griffin’s shutout and Nick Swisher followed with a RBI single to cut the lead in half. But A.J. was able to get out of the jam after surrendering four hits in the inning by striking out Raul Ibanez.
Oakland’s bullpen took over the seventh and eighth innings retiring the Yankees in order. Then Swisher brought the team within one with with a solo blast in the ninth. But closer Ryan Cook calmed down to shut down the last two batters to end the game.
“Griffin was amazing with that equalizer on that breaking ball,” Nick said. “I think the next time we see him, we’ll know what to expect. They played well today and got that home run early and for us we just couldn’t get anything going.”