It was bad enough for the New York Yankees hardly being able to hit anything coming their way from Dan Straily, but it got much worse as Brandon Moss hit two home runs to distinguish himself in a second consecutive win in the series and 10th straight at home.
The A’s improved to 40-27 this season, leading the AL West at the moment. Moss has been hitting terribly lately (only 5 hits on his last 40 at bats), but each time he actually does hit a ball, it turns out to be a home run. His first in the game was a two-run homer off of Philip Hughes, giving Oakland a 2-0 lead in the second inning, and his 11th home run of the season was there to quiet the Yankees in the 8th after the visitors climbed their way back to 2-3, eventually losing 5-2, falling to 37-28, putting them 3 games behind the Red Sox.
Last year in Triple-A, I did it at exactly this time. I had three weeks straight where the only hits I had were home runs. I’ll take that. It’s not where I want to be, obviously. I’d much rather be getting hits also. I said it a long time ago, I’ve done it before where I’ve sacrificed power for hits. It still didn’t turn out well. If you’re able to contribute and drive in runs when you do connect, it’s definitely better than taking your seat.
There wasn’t a whole lot of hitting going on in the game in any case. Philip Hughes allowed only 4 hits, but gave up 5 walks and seemed to get himself in jams, taken off midway through the fourth inning. Jobe Chamberlain came on in the 7th, but allowed two runs in the 8th that made it impossible for the Yankees, hitting 4-of-31 on the day, to catch up.
The Oakland bats did a bit better. Moss had his two hits, and so did catcher John Jaso, driving in two runs with a double in the fifth and a single in the 8th, the last score of the game. He’s hitting .280 this season and a fantastic .474 in June, although it has come with only 4 RBIs. The Yankees tried to avoid Seth Smith as much as possible. He did get one hit, but he was also walked four times, which didn’t really get him anywhere.
The Yankees haven’t hit a home run in a season-high five straight games — the club’s longest drought since also going five games from May 17 to 21, 2006. After Straily came off, Sean Doolittle held onto the lead for an inning and a bit, not allowing a single hit and striking out two batters. Grant Balfour came on for his 17th save of the season, although he did slightly complicate things by giving up a hit and a walk before finishing the job.
The two teams wrap up their series as the A’s attempt to sweep the Yankees with Jarrod Parker (5-6, 4.68 ERA) starting for Oakland and Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 2.84 ERA) pitching for the Yankees, looking for his first win since May 17.