Oakland – The Bronx Bombers fell flat against a surging A’s team. Coming into the series tonight, the New York Yankees have the best record in baseball. But the confidence among the players in Oakland have changed this series completely.
The A’s 6-2 victory over the Yankees was nothing but an outstanding performance from all. This team is not selfish and everyone contributes. The back-to-back home runs in the first sparked Oakland’s offense and it didn’t stop there.
“The [Matt] Olson homer was huge, then [Mark] Canha follows it up,” said manager Bob Melvin. “You’d like to start out well, especially at home knowing we’re going to play them six times in the next 12 days or whatever it is.”
The A’s have set a franchise record for most players with 10 or more home runs (10) and are one of four teams with 10or more home runs including the Blue Jays, Twins and Yankees.
After Gary Sanchez homered in the first, Oakland responded quickly in the bottom of the frame. Robbie Grossman walked and Olson went deep to right field on the first pitch making it a 2-1. game. Canha followed with a solo shot to extend their lead 3-1.
By the second, Chris Herrmann singled and Marcus Semien doubled scoring in Herrmann but got tagged out heading to third. Homer Bailey settled down, after allowing Sanchez home run. Bailey lasted 5.2 innings striking out eight, allowing seven hits and one home run. And used a mean splitter to shut New York’s offense down.
“It allows him to pitch up and down,” Melvin said of Bailey’s splitter. “He can elevate with the fastball and the split comes out of the same plane. He can throw the slider and sinker just enough. When he’s throwing strikes and getting ahead and has that pitch, as we’ve seen since he’s been here, he can be tough.”
The Yankees didn’t put another run until Aaron Judge went yard in the eight. By then the A’s had already established their lead. Olson led off the sixth with a singled, Canha followed with a doubled and Stephen Piscotty single on a ground ball. A fielding error by Cameron Maybin scored in both Olson and Canha to extend Oakland’s lead 6-1.
The win tonight tied the A’s with the Rays for the second Wild Card spot and trail the Cleveland Indians by 1 1/2 games for the top American Lead Wild Card spot. Oakland has won the last 5 out of six games which included winning the series against the Houston Astros during their nine-game homestand.