The New York Yankees got a much-needed boost from Mark Teixeira as he rejoined the lineup for their series opener with the Oakland Athletics. He was just outdone by Brandon Moss.
These two sluggers look to continue to power their clubs as they reconvene in the Bronx on Wednesday night, though Teixeira likely needs more help from his teammates even if his strong production versus Oakland continues.
New York (29-28) was homerless in six of seven and Teixeira had missed back-to-back games before homering and driving in two runs in his return Tuesday in a 5-2, 10-inning loss. Teixeira has been bothered by inflammation in the same wrist that was operated on last season and limited him to 15 games. That ailment combined with a disabled list stint in April for a strained hamstring has forced him to miss 19 games, but his 10 home runs and 27 RBIs both lead the Yankees.
Doctors say there is no structural damage in Teixeira’s wrist, where he received a cortisone shot Saturday.
"He said he was fine," manager Joe Girardi said. "You know you kind of keep your fingers crossed and hope he feels good tomorrow."
Facing the Athletics again might help Teixeira feel better, too, considering he has 16 homers, 11 doubles and 51 RBIs over his last 41 matchups against them. His 113 career RBIs versus Oakland are 26 more than he has against any other team.
Aside from Teixeira’s RBI single in the first, the rest of the Yankees were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. The three batters in front of the cleanup hitter Teixeira – Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter and Jacoby Ellsbury – were 2 for 14 with four strikeouts.
New York has just 10 runs in its last five games and has lost the last three, one shy of its worst losing streak of the season. Alfonso Soriano is hitless in 15 straight at-bats and has struck out in six of his last seven.
Moss, who served as designated hitter after sitting two games with a strained right calf, homered twice Tuesday with his 15th of the year breaking a 2-all tie in the 10th.
The eight-year pro has 21 extra-base hits – including 11 homers – and 27 RBIs over his last 26 games. Tuesday marked his second multihomer performance in his last three meetings with the Yankees.
Oakland (36-22) also got RBIs from two late substitutes, with Stephen Vogt and Kyle Blanks each driving in a run in their only at-bats.
"We have a very confident offense," Moss said.
Moss is hitting .343 against left-handers and will get to see one Wednesday with Vidal Nuno (1-2, 5.48 ERA) on the hill for New York. All four runs Nuno allowed over 6 2-3 innings of Friday’s 6-1 loss to Minnesota came on three home runs.
Though Josh Donaldson was 0 for 5 in the opener, he owns an OPS of 1.110 in 54 at-bats against left-handers with six homers and 12 RBIs.
Jesse Chavez (4-3, 2.78) gets the ball for Oakland looking to avoid losing a third straight start. He’s allowed seven runs and 16 hits in 11 1-3 innings over the last two.
Wednesday marks his first start versus New York, though he was credited with a victory after tossing 5 2-3 scoreless innings of relief with seven strikeouts in a 3-2 win June 13.