New York Yankees’ Aaron Judge gets congratulated after scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh against the the Oakland Athletics, Monday, June 27, 2022, at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx (AP News photo)
By Jessica Kwong
NEW YORK. – The struggling Oakland Athletics appeared to be on their way to upsetting the best team in baseball – but the New York Yankees scored six times in the seventh inning and sealed a 9-5 victory at Yankee Stadium on Monday night.
Anthony Rizzo hit a homer to right center off Paul Blackburn’s fastball to put the Yankees up 1-0 in the first inning.
In the third inning, Ramón Laureano doubled on a fly ball to left fielder Aaron Hicks. The umpire reviewed the play to see if it was a three-run homer, but the call on the field stood, and the game was tied.
With the bases loaded, Elvis Andrus hit a double, allowing Christian Bethancourt, Laureano and Sean Murphy to score and putting the A’s up 4-1. Then Sheldon Neuse hit a single and Andrus scored, boosting Oakland to 5-1.
In the fourth inning, Giancarlo Stanton hit a home run on a fly ball to left center, pushing the score 5-2.
Leading MVP contender Aaron Judge singled on a line drive to left fielder Tony Kemp, deflected by Andrus, and DJ LeMahieu scored, to reduce Oakland’s lead to 5-3.
A’s starter Blackburn threw 91 pitches in five innings, allowed five hits, three errors, two walks, seven strikeouts and two homers.
“Couple of solo shots there, and then in the fifth one that tips off Elvis’ glove,” said Blackburn.
The right-handed pitcher added that he felt his sinker was the best it has been so far this season.
“Being able to move it to both sides of the plate,” Blackburn said, “Threw a couple of big change-ups today when I needed it. I felt good.”
The decisive seventh inning started with Aaron Judge and Stanton reaching base after swings hit catcher Sean Murphy’s glove. Murphy was called twice for catcher’s interference.
“Murphy was reaching in to get the ball, he’s one of the best at getting a low strike call,” said A’s manager Mark Kotsay. “It impacted that inning so it was an unusual night for that to happen.”
Josh Donaldson doubled on a sharp line drive to left field, then Jose Trevino doubled on a line drive, allowing Stanton and Donaldson to score. Marwin Gonzalez singled and Trevino scored, putting the Yankees up 9-5.
The A’s loss in game one of the three-game series dropped their record to 25-50, the worst in the league. Meanwhile, the Yankees (53-20) have a 12-game lead over the American League East. It was New York’s 23rd comeback.
First pitch for game two on Tuesday is at 4:05 p.m. PT. — The A’s will be starting Frankie Montas (3-7, 3.21) and for the Yankees JP Sears (2-0, 0.00).