The A’s got the run back in the bottom of the inning, however. Kevin Kouzmanoff drove a single to left, but Brett Gardner threw him out at second. A triple to right put Andy LaRoche on third, and he scored on a liner by David DeJesus, putting Oakland on the board.
Nick Swisher singled in the fourth and moved to third on a single by Andruw Jones. With Gardner at bat, Swisher got picked off when Gardner failed to lay down a bunt. Jones moved to second and Gardner was hit by a pitch. Jeter singled up the middle, loading the bases. Granderson singled, plating Jones and Gardner, giving the Yankees a 5-1 edge.
Rodriguez got the Bombers’ offense moving in the fifth, with a leadoff single to left. Robinson Cano followed with a monster homer to right center, and New York held a 7-1 lead. Oakland got a couple runs back in the bottom of the inning, however. Coco Crisp leadoff with a triple and DeJesus homered, making the score 7-3 as the game entered the late innings.
Jeter walked in the sixth and Granderson followed with a single and they worked a double steal with Mark Teixeira at bat. With first open, the A’s decided to walk the Yankees’ first baseman, loading the bases for Rodriguez who drove a 2 RBI single up the middle. Then, in one of the strangest plays of the game, Cano struck out swinging and Kurt Suzuki tried to pick Rodriguez off first. Instead, the Yankees cleanup hitter got caught in a rundown and Teixeira headed home. The A’s throw to the plate was late and Rodiguez was safe at second, while Teixeira’s first steal of 2011 was a steal of home. When the inning finally ended, the Yankees had a comfortable 10-3 lead.
Bronx Cheers: Russell Martin: Returning from a day off due to a sore toe, the Yankees’ backstop struggled at the plate. He went 0-4 with two strikeouts and leaving two runners on base.
Brett Gardner: Gardy went 0-3 with a run scored, after being hit by a pitch. Gardner’s failed bunt attempt in the fourth lead to Swisher getting caught stealing.
Nick Swisher: Swisher was 1-4 with a walk. He got in trouble on the bases twice. Swisher misread a liner off Gardner’s bat in the second, getting caught too far off first. Later, he was picked off third when Gardner failed to lay down a bunt. Swisher also had one of his more adventurous games in the outfield, looking a bit lost in right at times.
Curtain Calls: Freddy Garcia: Garcia gave the Yankees another solid performance from the starting rotation. He went seven innings, giving up just three runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Curtis Granderson: Grandy went 3-5 with two runs scored and four RBIs. Granderson has 17 homers now, hitting another one (and off another lefty no less!).
Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod went 3-4 with a run scored and three RBIs. He did make a really boneheaded fielding error, however, for his third of the season.
In The On Deck Circle: New York will look for the sweep on Wednesday, before heading down to Los Angeles. They will have to get by Gio Gonzalez if they are going to sweep the Athletics, however. The lefty has had a good season, going 5-2 with a 2.17 ERA and 3.28 FIP. He has a K/9 of 9.10, with 63 strikeouts and only 28 walks this season. Meanwhile, the Yankees will send out A.J. Burnett who, despite a few recent hiccups, has been a reliable am for New York this season. He has held opposing batters to just a .230 average. First pitch is at 3:35pm (EST) in Oakland.