The Oakland Athletics jumped out to a quick 6-5 victory to start their final series of the season against the New York Yankees. The A’s have scuffled at times but find themselves in the midst of a bit of a hot streak having won five of seven. The A’s jumped out to a 6-0 lead behind a pair of mammoth home runs by Brandon Allen and held on by the skin of their tooth for a 6-5 win.
Allen got the scoring going in the second inning with a one out home run that hit the 300-level in right field. Only Russell Branyan has reached that level in 2011. Eric Sogard followed with a solo home run in the third inning that just wrapped around the right field foul pole but counted just the same as Allen’s.
In the sixth, seventh and eighth innings the A’s would add four more runs, all of which would prove key. After Coco Crisp led off the sixth with a double and advanced to third on a Matsui right field fly, Josh Willingham sacrificed Crisp home for a 3-0 lead. Scott Sizemore hit a two-run RBI double off Boone Logan in the seventh and Brandon Allen added another solo home run into the second deck in the eighth.
Brandon McCarthy cruised into the eighth inning with a shutout having given up six hits and two walks. However, things unraveled from there. Derek Jeter grabbed his third hit of the game and Curtis Granderson followed with a walk. After Mark Teixeira flew out to center and Robinson Cano lined out to shortstop, Nick Swisher hit a three run home run to cut the 6-0 lead in half. Grant Balfour came on in relief to get the final out, bringing on Andrew Bailey in the ninth.
Bailey got into trouble right away as he gave up a solo home run to Jorge Posada to lead off the inning. Russell Martin followed that with a double and Brett Gardner then reached safely on an error by Scott Sizemore. Derek Jeter sacrificed the two runners over to second and third and then Granderson walked to load the bases. After Mark Teixeira fouled out, Robinson Cano was able to work a questionable walk to drive in the fifth run. Bailey then fell behind 2-0 to Nick Swisher but managed to escape with the save and the A’s victory by forcing Swisher to fly out to the deepest part of center field.
The A’s and Yankees play the second game of their series Wednesday evening at 4:05pm pacific. Trevor Cahill faces off against Yankees ace CC Sabathia. Cahill is looking for his tenth win of the season.