A-Rod, Sabathia too much for A’s
AP Sports Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Alex Rodriguez hit his 21st grand slam and added a solo shot for his 597th home run, helping CC Sabathia win his seventh straight start in the New York Yankees’ 6-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.
Rodriguez connected with the bases loaded in the third inning to tie Manny Ramirez for the second most slams, then went deep again in the sixth off Trevor Cahill (8-3) to lead the Yankees to their fourth straight win.
A-Rod has 21 home runs at the Coliseum, the most by a visiting player.
Sabathia (11-3) got the best of a matchup between All-Star pitchers, getting a rare win the stadium he used to come to as a kid. Sabathia grew up in nearby Vallejo and made frequent trips to the Coliseum to watch the A’s and Raiders, but fur for some reason he always struggled here.
He lost four straight starts and held a 7.12 ERA before winning in Oakland last August.
Sabathia allowed one run and seven hits in 7 2-3 innings to win for the second time in his past three starts here, perhaps finally putting an end to whatever hex the A’s had over him. He left after striking out Kurt Suzuki for his season-high 10th K of the game, getting a standing ovation from many of the fans who were left.
Sabathia also became the first Yankee to win seven straight starts since Roger Clemens had an eight-start streak in 2001. He has a 1.88 ERA since June 3, reversing a stretch in which he went five straight starts without a win.
Rodriguez made sure he had an easy time of it this game. Derek Jeter barely beat a relay from second on a potential double-play grounder to drive in New York’s first run and extend the third inning. Cahill then hit Mark Teixeira in the back with an 0-2 pitch to load the bases.
Rodriguez connected with a 3-1 pitch for his third slam of the season to make it 5-1. He moved within two of tying Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig for the most ever with 23. Rodriguez’s solo homer in the sixth gave him his first multihomer game of the season and 55th of his career.
Cahill, who had won seven straight decisions, had little trouble with the rest of the lineup, allowing only two other hits in six innings of work. The six runs he allowed were his most since giving up eight in his first start of the season April 30 at Toronto.
Sabathia allowed an RBI double to Kevin Kouzmanoff in the first and didn’t face any trouble again until the fifth inning, when the A’s put runners on first and second with one out.
Teixeira then made a long run to catch a popup by Rajai Davis near the first-base dugout for the second out. Sabathia walked Coco Crisp to load the bases before getting a called third strike on a full count to Daric Barton, who slammed his bat down in disgust and was immediately ejected by plate umpire Mike Winters.
Teixeira took advantage of the vast foul territory at the Coliseum, making a sliding grab against Suzuki leading off the sixth inning. Teixeira then made a leaping grab of a liner by Jack Cust for the second out in the ninth.
Notes: New York’s nine grand slams are one shy of the club record set in 1987. … Yankees reliever Alfredo Aceves had a third epidural in his ailing back Tuesday. He will spend three days in New York with a physical therapist before returning to Tampa to continue rehab. … C Jorge Posada returned to the Yankees’ lineup after missing Monday’s game with an injured left ring finger. … Rafael Palmeiro hit 20 homers as a visiting player at the Coliseum.