OAKLAND, Calif. — Game-ending hits are becoming so routine these days in Oakland that concession workers have the celebratory whipped-cream pies waiting near the dugout whenever the Athletics are in position for another walk-off win.
Brandon Moss delivered the 10th of the season for the A’s when he drove in Yoenis Cespedes with an RBI single with one out in the ninth inning Friday night to give Oakland a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees for their seventh win in eight games.
“There’s always that feeling based on the fact we’ve had so many,” manager Bob Melvin said. “There’s always that feeling when we get into the last at-bat at home. We just feel like something good is going to happen.”
It has seven times in the past 14 home games in a remarkable run of late-inning heroics that have put the low-budget A’s within a half-game of a wild-card spot in the American League.
Oakland leads the majors in walk-off wins with 10 players ending up on the receiving end of a pie and Gatorade bath.
“I enjoy it because I get to pie somebody different every night,” outfielder Josh Reddick said. “We’re not relying on the one person to carry this team right now. It’s always fun to do that.”
Moss, who left the bases loaded twice earlier in the game, lined a single to right field and Cespedes slid in safely ahead of Andruw Jones throw to set off another celebration.
“Obviously it would be a lot less stressful if you could score the runs early in the game,” Moss said. “But at the same time when you get in that situation and have a chance to come through and you do, it’s a huge adrenalin rush. It’s a lot of fun. It’s what you dream of as a little kid.”
The Yankees were completely silenced by Oakland rookie Tommy Milone, who struck out a career-high 10 batters in seven scoreless innings as the A’s took a 2-0 lead.
But Oakland failed to build on the single runs scored in the third and fourth inning, squandering numerous scoring chances. The A’s left the bases loaded in the first and seventh inning with Moss making the final out both times and stranded 12 runners over the first eight innings.
That helped the Yankees tie the game with a solo homer by Russell Martin off Jerry Blevins in the eighth and by Robinson Cano against Ryan Cook (4-2) to lead off the ninth. Cook has four blown saves in 14 chances.
“You get a couple of runs off the relievers and you figure, you know what, maybe we’re going to be able to come back and get ahead,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “But we weren’t able to.”
Milone allowed seven hits and no walks and tied an Oakland record with his 10 strikeouts against the Yankees. He also helped end New York’s streak of 43 consecutive games with at least three runs — the longest in the majors since Cleveland’s 48-game run in 1994.
The first two game of this series have been a far cry from New York’s first visit to Oakland in late May when the Yankees overwhelmed the A’s in a three-game sweep to extend their winning streak at the Coliseum to nine games. That was part of a nine-game overall losing streak for the A’s, who have recovered since then to post the second best record in the majors to the Yankees since June 2.
“Really it starts with their pitching,” Martin said. “Not many teams can contain us like they have in the last couple games. Their guy tonight, I didn’t really see a good pitch to hit. He kept getting ahead making good pitches, mixing his speed, (throwing to) both sides of the plate.”
After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, the A’s struck for single runs in the third and fourth innings against Ivan Nova. Coco Crisp led off the third with a triple and scored on Jemile Weeks‘ sacrifice fly. Moss and Brandon Inge then hit back-to-back doubles to open the fourth to make it 2-0.
Cano had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 23 games. … Yankees OF Nick Swisher left the game in the seventh with a mild left hip flexor strain and is day to day. … Milone is the fourth Oakland pitcher to strike out 10 against the Yankees with Bobby Witt the last to do it on July 2, 1993. … Oakland RF Josh Reddick threw out Mark Teixeira going from first to third on Rodriguez’s single in the fourth for his ninth assist of the season…. Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain (ankle) allowed two runs — one earned — and two hits in a rehab start for Class-A Tampa in the Florida State League. … Jarrod Parker (6-4) makes his first career start against the New York Yankees on Saturday against Phil Hughes (9-7).
Moss, Athletics score walk-off win vs. Yankees
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