OAKLAND, Calif. -- The New York Yankees knew it would just be a matter of time until their big bats finally started connecting.
Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher hit two-run homers to help the Yankees win for the seventh straight time in Oakland, beating the Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.Robinson Cano also homered and Ivan Nova (5-2) allowed three runs in seven innings to give the Yankees their third straight win following a stretch of six losses in seven games. The Yankees have hit six homers in the past two games."The last few games have been good for us," Teixeira said. "We're used to scoring that many runs. It's kind of more normal for us. ... We're a team that's used to hitting a lot of them and we'd like to hit a little bit more."Tyson Ross (2-5) allowed the three long balls, which proved to be too much for Oakland's struggling offense to overcome as the A's lost their third straight game. Josh Reddick and Kila Ka'aihue hit solo homers for Oakland.The Yankees have overwhelmed the A's of late, especially in Oakland. Their last loss at the Coliseum came on April 22, 2010, in a game remembered for the dustup between Alex Rodriguez and Dallas Braden over A-Rod's jog across Braden's mound after a foul ball.There were no such controversies this game as the Yankees' bats show signs of waking up after scoring just 15 runs during that recent seven-game stretch. But some of their struggling high-priced stars have come through of late. Rodriguez homered twice in a win Wednesday against Kansas City to give him seven homers, and Teixeira connected against the Athletics.
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"These guys are too good for this to continue to go on," manager Joe Girardi said. "All clubs go through it at times and it's no fun when you're going through it. It feels like, 'When is it going to end?' sometimes. We're starting to swing the bats better."Home runs are a good sign for the Yankees, who are 24-11 when they go deep and winless in 10 games without a home run, and they had little trouble going deep against Ross.Rafael Soriano pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as many opportunities.New York scored three unearned runs in the third thanks to an error by center fielder Coco Crisp. Cano's drive with two outs and a man on first hit off Crisp's glove for a two-base error that scored Curtis Granderson. Teixeira followed with his sixth homer to make it 3-0."Those three runs, that's the difference in the ballgame right there," Crisp said. "We are playing a team of high caliber. You want to go out there as solid as possible. From the defensive end, we've been doing a great job. You get a couple of plays that don't end up the way they're supposed to, they can play a big part in the game."After Reddick hit a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth for Oakland, the Yankees broke it open in the fifth with a solo shot by Cano and a two-run homer from Swisher to make it 6-1 and knock out Ross. That ended a stretch of 63 straight at-bats without a homer for Swisher."During the season, you have a lot of highs and a lot of lows," Swisher said. "The past couple weeks for us haven't been exactly what we wanted."Ross allowed six runs -- three earned -- and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings as his struggles against lefties continued. He allowed nine hits in 15 at-bats against lefties and has allowed an AL-worst .425 average against them this season."I think they just see the ball a little bit better against me," Ross said. "The split-change is something I need to keep working on to disrupt their timing and get them off all the hard stuff that's coming in there. I'm just going to keep working and try to mess around with that grip a little bit and take some more velocity off that."
The A's hope to get 3B Brandon Inge (strained right groin) back on Monday after he plays two games in Sacramento this weekend. OF Yoenis Cespedes (strained left hand) will try to take BP on the field Saturday and could start a rehab assignment next week if that goes well. ... Eric Chavez, who played with Oakland from 1998-2010, returned as a visitor for the first time. He lamented how close the A's were to winning it all in the early 2000s and then looked over at teammate Derek Jeter and said, "They didn't practice that play," referring to Jeter's famous relay flip that helped the Yankees beat Oakland in the first round in the 2001 playoffs. ... Former Yankee Bartolo Colon (4-4) will start the middle game of the series for Oakland against Bay Area native CC Sabathia (5-2). ... The Yankees signed RHP John Maine to a minor league deal. Maine, a 15-game winner with the Mets in 2007, has not pitched in the majors since 2010.