Yankees struggle vs. Milone in 3-2 loss to A's
OAKLAND, Calif.—The New York Yankees are quickly learning that this Oakland Athletics team is a lot different than the squad they swept less than two months ago.
Tommy Milone struck out 10 in seven scoreless innings and Brandon Moss won it in the ninth with a game-ending single that gave the A's a 3-2 victory on Friday night.
After outscoring Oakland 17-5 during a three-game sweep in May, the Yankees have lost back-to-back one-run games in their return to Oakland.
"Really it starts with their pitching," New York catcher Russell Martin said. "Not many teams can contain us like they have in the last couple games. Their guy tonight, I didn't really see a good pitch to hit. He kept getting ahead making good pitches, mixing his speed, (throwing to) both sides of the plate."
Milone allowed seven hits and no walks and tied an Oakland record with his 10 strikeouts against the Yankees. He also helped end New York's streak of 43 consecutive games with at least three runs -- the longest in the majors since Cleveland's 48-game run in 1994.
But New York rallied to tie the game with solo homers from Martin and Robinson Cano in the eighth and ninth innings only to become the latest victim of Oakland's recent late-inning success.
Yoenis Cespedes started the winning rally with a single with one out in the ninth off Cody Eppley (0-1) for his fourth hit of the game. Jonny Gomes followed with an infield hit.
"He was there to get the right-handers out and he didn't get them out," manager Joe Girardi said. "It kind of set up their inning."
Moss, who left the bases loaded twice earlier in the game, lined a single to right field and Cespedes slid in safely ahead of Andruw Jones throw to set off another celebration. The A's lead the majors with 10 walk-off wins, including seven in the past 14 home games to move within a half-game of a wild-card spot in the American League.
"Obviously it would be a lot less stressful if you could score the runs early in the game," Moss said. "But at the same time when you get in that situation and have a chance to come through and you do, it's a huge adrenalin rush. It's a lot of fun. It's what you dream of as a little kid."
Oakland failed to build on the single runs scored in the third and fourth inning against Ivan Nova, squandering numerous scoring chances. The A's left the bases loaded in the first and seventh inning with Moss making the final out both times and stranded 12 runners over the first eight innings.
That helped the Yankees tie the game on Cano's leadoff homer in the ninth against Ryan Cook (4-2).
"You get a couple of runs off the relievers and you figure, you know what, maybe we're going to be able to come back and get ahead," Girardi said. "But we weren't able to."
The first two game of this series have been a far cry from New York's first visit to Oakland in late May when the Yankees overwhelmed the A's in a three-game sweep to extend their winning streak at the Coliseum to nine games. That was part of a nine-game overall losing streak for the A's, who have recovered since then to post the second best record in the majors to the Yankees since June 2.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, the A's struck for single runs in the third and fourth innings against Ivan Nova. Coco Crisp led off the third with a triple and scored on Jemile Weeks' sacrifice fly. Moss and Brandon Inge then hit back-to-back doubles to open the fourth to make it 2-0.
NOTES: Cano had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 23 games. ... Yankees OF Nick Swisher left the game in the seventh with a mild left hip flexor strain and is day to day. ... Milone is the fourth Oakland pitcher to strike out 10 against the Yankees with Bobby Witt the last to do it on July 2, 1993. ... Oakland RF Josh Reddick threw out Mark Teixeira going from first to third on Rodriguez's single in the fourth for his ninth assist of the season.... Yankees RHP Joba Chamberlain (ankle) allowed two runs -- one earned -- and two hits in a rehab start for Class-A Tampa in the Florida State League. ... Jarrod Parker (6-4) makes his first career start against the New York Yankees on Saturday against Phil Hughes (9-7).