June 5: Athletics (37-23) 1, Yankees (30-29) 2
In a game where runs were at a premium because of starters Drew Pomeranz and Masahiro Tanaka, the New York Yankees used a solo home run by Brett Gardner in the third to narrowly lift them by the Oakland Athletics 2-1. Tanaka improved to 9-1 on the year.
Runs were scored early, but not often against the two dominant pitchers. Each guy buckled down and held their opposition off the board after Gardner’s decisive swing in the third.
John Jaso got the Athletics’ only run of the game in just their second at-bat. First-pitch swinging, Jaso connected on a mistake sinker for his sixth homer of the year. That proved to be the only mistake of the night by Tanaka as the Yanks’ starter and their bullpen kept the A’s off the board the rest of the way.
The Yankees got their offense in the form of solo runs in the second and third innings.
In the second, Alfonso Soriano tied the game at one apiece with a two-out RBI single to right field. Soriano jumped on a 1-1 knuckle curve offering from Pomeranz for the run-scoring base knock.
In the third, Gardner had the game’s biggest hit when he was first-pitch swinging against Pomeranz to lead off the frame. He belted a four-seam fastball over the right-field fence to give the Bronx Bombers their 2-1 lead.
The A’s never really threatened Tanaka the rest of the way, except for a small spark in the third. Oakland got runners on first and second after a Coco Crisp walk, but failed to plate home a run.
Against reliever Adam Warren, the A’s got their first two batters on base in the eighth, but again failed to come up with a big hit to get the equalizer. Both runners advanced into scoring position with two away, but a Yoenis Cespedes strikeout ended the frame.
In the ninth, against closer David Robertson, Stephen Vogt singled and was replaced by pinch-runner Craig Gentry to give the A’s the best chance at scoring a run. Gentry stole second with just one out, but never came across to score as Robertson set down Alberto Callaspo and Derek Norris to end the game – earning himself his 13th save of the year.
Pomeranz got the tough loss — going seven strong innings and giving up just one earned run. He struck out seven and coughed up just six hits.
On the other side, Tanaka gave up just one earned run and five hits in six innings. He walked one and fanned four in his ninth win of the season.