Photo credit: @Athletics
By Jerry Feitelberg
OAKLAND — The Oakland A’s won a thriller Wednesday night as they beat the New York Yankees for the second night in a row by a score of 6-4.
The Yankees, with a lineup of power hitters, made a run late in the game. The A’s have power hitters, too and Khris Davis, Marcus Semien, and Stephen Piscotty all went deep. The A’s bullpen met the challenge as they did the job and recorded the win for the A’s.
Mike Fiers started for Oakland, Fiers went 5 1/3 innings and allowed six hits and two runs. He was credited with the win, and he is now 12-3 for the year. The Yankees left, J.A. Happ, took the loss and he is now 10-8.
The Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Yanks shortstop Didi Gregorius led off with a double. Fiers retired Gleyber Torres for the first out. Mike Tauchman, player center-field for the Yanks, singled to drive in Gregorius. Fiers retired the next two hitters to end the threat. The A’s, as they did Tuesday night, scored twice in their half of the second. Stephen Piscotty led off with a single. A’s DH Khris Davis, who has been mired in a horrible slump, hit his 18th of the year over the fence in right field to give the A’s a 2-1 advantage.
The A’s put two more on the board in the third. Josh Phegley walked to start the inning. A’s shortstop Marcus Semien blasted his 22nd home run of the year to put the A’s up 4-1 after three complete.
The A’s sent Happ to the showers in the fifth. Jurickson Profar led off with a double. Happ hit Phegley with a pitch to put two men on with no out. Happ walked Semien to load the bases. Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone decided to make a pitching change. He brought in righty Chad Green to pitch. Green got Matt Chapman and Matt Olson to foul out. Mark Canha reached on an infield single to drive in Profar with the fifth run of the game for Oakland. Green retired Chad Pinder on a ground out to short.
The Yankees added a run in the sixth. Fiers struck out the first hitter, Gary Sanchez. The next three hitters Gio Urshela, Didi Gregorius, and Gleyber Torres all singled to load the bases. A’s manager Bob Melvin went to his bullpen and brought in lefty Jake Diekman to face the left-handed hitter Mike Tauchman. Diekman got Tauchman to fly out to left. Urshela scored on the play. Melvin removed Diekman, and Yusmeiro Petit was brought in to face Cameron Maybin. Petit struck out Maybin for the final out. The A’s upped the lead to four in their half of the sixth. Stephen Piscotty led off with an opposite field solo homer that barely made it over the wall in right field. It was Piscotty’s 13 th big fly of the season. The A’s lead 6-2 after six.
Yankees DH Mike Ford led off the seventh with his 5th round-tripper of the year to make it 6-3. The Yanks plated another run to make it 6-4. With two out, Gary Sanchez singled. He went to third on Urshela’s single to right. Didi Gregorius doubled to drive in Sanchez. Blake Treinen was able to get Gleyber Torres to ground out for the final out.
The Yankees threatened in the top of the eighth. Bob Melvin brought in rookie A.J.Puk to make his major league debut. Puk, who can hit 100 miles per hour on the speed gun, walked Mike Tauchman to start the inning. Jurickson Profar made a sensational catch on a bloop hit off Cameron Maybin’s bat for the first out. Puk, facing lefty Mike Ford, gave up a single. Tauchman went to third when right fielder Chad Pinder misplayed the ball. Melvin brought in his closer Liam Hendriks to get the A’s out of the jam. Hendriks did his job as he struck out DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge to end the threat. Hendriks retired the Yankees in order in the ninth to preserve the win for Oakland. The A’s won 6-4.
Game Notes: With the win, the A’s improve to 73-53. They remain tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card. They did, however, pick up a game on the Cleveland Indians in the race for the first Wild Card. The Indians lost to the New York Mets for the second night in a row. The Rays and A’s are both just 1/2 game behind the Indians.
The A’s A.J. Puk made his Major League debut in the eighth inning. The fans gave him a tremendous ovation as he entered from the bullpen. Puk went 1/3 of an inning and gave up a walk and a hit.
A’s manager Bob Melvin hit a new milestone in his managerial career. With the win. Melvin recorded his 1200th win as a big league manager. Quite an achievement.
Liam Hendriks was credited with his 15th save of the year. Hendriks retired all five hitters he faced.
The A’s line score was six, runs, six hits and one error. The A’s left three on base.
The Yankees’ line was four runs, 11 hits and no errors. 10 men were stranded on base.
Time of game was three hours and two minutes. Most of the 22,017 people in the stands were A’s fans who went home happy. Meanwhile, the Yankee fans went home wondering what hit them.
Up Next: Game three of the series will be played Thursday night at the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s will have Tann Roark doing the pitching. Roark is 7-8 with an ERA of 4.01. He will be opposed by the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka. Tanaka is 9-6, and his ERA is 4.56. Game time will be at 6:07 pm.