Despite Triple Play Yankees, Sabathia Fall To Athletics

GAME 15
ATHLETICS 4, YANKEES 2

Home may be where the heart is but for CC Sabathia home also is his Waterloo.
Sabathia, a native of nearby Vallejo, CA, gave up a three-run home run in the first inning and the New York’s offense could not overcome it as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Yankees 4-2 Thursday afternoon at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Dallas Braden (3-0) pitched six solid innings for the victory. Andrew Bailey pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save. Sabathia (2-1) took the loss and his career record at the Coliseum is now 2-5.
The loss snapped the Yankees’ six-game winning streak and dropped their season record to 11-4. They also slipped a half-game in back of the Tampa Bay Rays in the A.L. East. The Athletics improved their record to 10-7 in the A.L. West.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • Marcus Thames, inserted into the lineup as additional right-handed hitter against the lefty Braden, touched Braden for a solo home run to left in the fifth inning. Thames is batting .500 on the season.
  • Mark Teixeira hit his second home run of the season in the sixth inning to cut the Yankees’ deficit to two runs.
  • Francisco Cervelli was used to catch Sabathia for the third time this season and give Jorge Posada a rest after a night game. But he had a great game, too. He was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and a single. He also threw out Kevin Kouzmanoff at second base with a laser-like throw in the fourth inning.
  • On defense, Alex Rodriguez engineered the first triple play in Yankees’ history since 1968 in the sixth inning. Sabathia gave up a single to Daric Barton, threw a wild pitch to allow him to move to second and then walked Ryan Sweeney. But Suzuki followed with a grounder to Rodriguez that took him to the third base bag. Rodriguez stepped onto third base to retire Barton, fired to Robinson Cano to get Sweeney and Cano relayed to Nick Johnson at first in time to beat Suzuki.
  • Though Sabathia did not pitch well, he kept his pitch count down enough to be able to complete eight innings and allowed the bullpen to rest going into the weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels.
THE NEGATIVES

  • Control was Sabathia’s undoing in this game. He walked Rajai Davis and Sweeney in the first inning and Suzuki made him pay with a three-run home run. Sabathia walked a total of six batters in the game.
  • Cano was unable to turn a routine double play in the fourth inning and his relay to first skipped into the Yankees’ dugout. Later Adam Rosales cashed in the error by hitting a sacrifice fly that extended the lead to 4-0.
  • The Yankees’ No. 9, No. 1 and No. 2 hitters — Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter and Johnson — combined to go 0-for-10 in the game.
  • Braden managed to make most of the Yankee hitters look silly all day by throwing change-up after change-up after change-up. He struck out only two batters but he also induced some easy outs with the pitch.
  • The Yankees also killed themselves with two ill-timed double plays. In the fifth inning the Yankees scored on Thames’ leadoff homer and Cervelli singled. But Gardner killed the rally by hitting into a rare double play. In the sixth inning, it happened again. After Teixeira’s one-out home run, Alex Rodriguez singled. However, Cano hit into an inning-ending double play. 
DIAMOND NOTES

Braden is 26 years old but in the sixth in
ning he acted like a two-year-old by yelling at Rodriguez after the A’s completed a double play to retire Rodriguez at second and Cano at first. Braden was upset because of what happened just prior to the double play. When Cano had hit a looping ball to left that just fell into foul territory. Rodriguez, who was running from first base, rounded third base and then jogged back to first over the mound. Braden claimed it was a violation of an unwritten rule in baseball. Braden told Rodriguez to “get off his mound.” Rodriguez was amused by the incident and put the pitcher properly in his place: “I’d never quite heard that, especially from a guy who has just a handful of wins. I thought it was pretty funny actually.”  . . .  The Yankees decided to give Teixeira a “half-day” off by starting him at designated hitter and playing Johnson at first base.  . . .  The Yankees’ last triple play before Thursday’s gem occurred on June 3, 1968 against the Twins with a line drive off the bat of Johnny Roseboro. The play went 1-5-3 — pitcher Dooley Womack to third baseman Bobby Cox and on to first baseman Mickey Mantle.  . . .  The Yankees presented the ball they used to record the triple play to Rodriguez after the game. Rodriguez indicated he will keep the ball.   . . .  Despite the loss Thursday, the Yankees still tied an all-time franchise mark set in 1926 by winning their first five series to start the season. Only one other team has started the season with as many as four series wins to open a season — the 1922 Yankees.
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees will fly to Anaheim, CA to begin a three-game weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels beginning on Friday. The Yankees will open the series with right-hander A.J. Burnett (2-0, 2.37 ERA) on the mound. Burnett earned his second victory with seven scoreless innings in his last start on Saturday against the Rangers. He was 1-0 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts against the Angels last season.
Burnett will be opposed by right-hander Ervin Santana (1-2, 4.35 ERA). Santana came within one pitch of a shutout on Sunday in Toronto. But he gave up a solo home run to Adam Lind and settled for a 3-1 victory. The Yankees touched him for five runs in 5 2/3 innings in a loss on April 13 in New York. Santana is 5-3 with a 5.60 ERA in nine career starts against the Yankees.
Game-time is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.
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