Oakland 5, NY Yankees 2
When: 7:05 PM ET, Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Where: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York
Cory Blaser, 1B -
Jeff Nelson, 2B -
Doug Eddings, 3B -
NEW YORK -- Kendall Graveman had not won in nearly 10 months. It was significantly longer since his last at-bat.
On Wednesday, he experienced both.
Graveman pitched effectively into the seventh inning and batted in the fifth as the Oakland Athletics defeated the New York Yankees 5-2.
In 6 1/3 innings, Graveman (1-1) allowed one run on three hits and three walks. He set a career high with eight strikeouts and matched a career best by throwing 111 pitches.
Graveman's biggest strikeout came with the bases loaded in the first when he threw a 3-2 sinker past Alex Rodriguez. It was his 30th pitch of the inning, and other than allowing a solo home run to Didi Gregorius with one out in the second, Graveman pitched quickly and efficiently through the rest of his first win since July 4.
"You never want to throw 30 pitches in an inning, but when you do and if you can throw up a zero somehow, then you definitely go away with ... positive thinking," Graveman said. "It's one of those situations where you got to continue to make pitches. Even if it's in the first, you've got to continue to make meaningful pitches, and every pitch has to have intent. So to get out of that inning the way we did was big."
Oakland reliever Marc Rzepczynski added, "Once he got out of the first inning, you knew it was going to be all right. The pitch he threw to A-Rod in the first inning kind of set the tone for the rest of the game."
The A's led 3-1 thanks to a three-run fourth off Nathan Eovaldi (0-2), but what unfolded in the fourth led to Graveman batting.
Chris Coghlan tied the game at 1-1 with a double and scored on Josh Reddick's single. Oakland took a two-run lead on Stephen Vogt's sacrifice fly.
The Athletics nearly added another run, but Danny Valencia injured his left hamstring on a slide into the plate and was tagged out. Valencia was playing third base, and Oakland lost its designated hitter when Jed Lowrie moved from DH to second base and Coghlan switched from second to third.
In the fifth, the Yankees walked Reddick intentionally and Graveman struck out on three pitches in his first at-bat since he was a senior at Benjamin Russell High School in Alexander City, Ala., in 2009.
"I didn't show up to the park thinking I was going to get an at-bat," Graveman said. "I haven't stepped in the box in eight years, so it's like, hey, you realize they kill the DH and you want to get deep into ballgames. So to get an at-bat there was big because that means I was still in the game."
Graveman was the first pitcher to bat at the current Yankee Stadium and the first to do so in the Bronx since Sean Henn for the Yankees on July 22, 2007. He was the first visiting pitcher to get an at-bat in New York since John Wetteland on Aug. 16, 1997, for the Texas Rangers.
"It was good, and we needed him to go deep in the game," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "We had a couple of (bullpen) guys, actually three, that we didn't want to use tonight. So it worked out great as far as the bullpen dynamic after him, but it took him going as far as he did to get it to where we were comfortable."
Graveman's night ended when he walked Chase Headley in the seventh, and Oakland's bullpen made the lead stand to put the team over .500 at 8-7.
Rzepczynski finished the seventh with the assistance of replay on a double play.
Ryan Dull allowed a two-out home run to Carlos Beltran in the eighth, and Sean Doolittle recorded his second save with a scoreless ninth.
After Gregorius' home run, New York's biggest threat came with one out in the seventh. Gregorius singled to center field, and the Yankees had runners at second and third following an error by Burns.
Aaron Hicks hit a slow tapper to Coghlan at third. Coghlan tagged Gregorius on the leg and completed the double play by throwing to first. The Yankees challenged, but the call was upheld following a brief review.
"To me, it's running things through your head," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of Gregorius getting tagged out between second and third. "Some guys are better than others at doing it, and some guys learn it."
Eovaldi pitched six innings, allowing three runs and eight hits, with five of the hits coming in the fourth inning.
The Yankees (5-8) lost for the sixth time in seven games and were hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position. New York is 4-for-58 with runners in scoring position over its past seven games.
"We have to focus on doing the little things, not as if every at-bat is life or death," Rodriguez said. "You gotta relax, get a good pitch to hit and hit it. We do have to play good fundamental baseball."
NOTES: LF Brett Gardner (stiff neck) was scratched from New York's lineup approximately 2 1/2 hours before first pitch. Manager Joe Girardi said Gardner has felt sore since last week when he dived into the stands at Toronto and then reinjured his neck attempting a diving catch in the sixth inning of Tuesday's loss. ... Oakland INF Eric Sogard had left knee surgery on Wednesday after getting his second opinion from Dr. James Andrews in Florida. ... Oakland manager Bob Melvin said INF/OF Mark Canha will start Thursday. Canha had the winning hit in the 11th inning Tuesday. ... A's C Stephen Vogt along with LHPs Sean Doolittle, and RHPs Ryan Dull and Fernando Rodriguez visited the Freedom Tower in lower Manhattan on Wednesday morning.
Top Game Performances
Team Stats Summary