A’s hope to have their way again against Yankees

NEW YORK — The smile from Dustin Fowler’s face could not be erased as he detailed the feeling of getting his first career hit after a lengthy rehab from a serious knee injury.

The rest of the Oakland A’s also experienced plenty of reasons to smile Friday.

After Oakland’s Fowler collected his first hit and the A’s hit four homers in their 10-5 victory in the series opener, they hope to stay productive Saturday afternoon in the second game of the three-game series against the New York Yankees.

Fowler was among three prospects the A’s acquired at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Yankees for Sonny Gray. At the time of the deal, Fowler was recovering from a potentially career-ending knee injury sustained crashing into an electrical box in Chicago.

With about a dozen family members in the stands Friday, Fowler delivered his first hit with a single in the fourth inning. And came off Gray. It was among 14 hits for the A’s, who had been outscored 24-5 in dropping three straight to the Houston Astros.

“It was awesome, it was a blast,” Fowler said. “I enjoyed every minute of it, especially late in the game when they were starting to come back. The crowd was so loud that you couldn’t hear yourself think. It was awesome. I had a long journey ahead of me from last year to now, but I was happy to actually get my hit here, so it was fun.”

Fowler’s hit was the nicest story in Oakland’s sixth win in seven games against American League East opponents.

After being held to two runs or fewer in five straight games, Khris Davis, Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie and Matt Joyce homered as Oakland scored at least 10 runs for the fourth time.

“We did (need it),” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ve been struggling some here recently, but part of our meeting today it’s the ebbs and flows of the season, we can hit. We just got to power through it a little bit and you know against these guys as hot as they’ve been swinging the bats that you’re going to put up some runs, so it was good to see the offense break out a little bit today.”

On Saturday, the A’s will try to give the Yankees three straight losses for the first time since Aug. 28-30. After winning 17 of 18 for the first time since 1953, the Yankees dropped consecutive games for the first time since April 8-10.

Aaron Judge hit his 10th homer and is batting .360 (9-for-25) in his last seven games, but others are struggling, notably Didi Gregorius.

Gregorius is hitless in his last 28 at-bats and his average has tumbled from .333 to .272 since May 3.

“He’ll get it rolling again,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Gregorius before Friday’s game. “I think sometimes he probably thinks I got to put it in play instead of getting in position to impact the ball and when he’s doing that and when he’s laying off the pitches he shouldn’t be swinging at he’s impacting the ball.”

After Kendall Graveman pitched six solid innings Friday in his return from the minors, Andrew Triggs, who will start Saturday for the A’s, hopes to replicate one of the best starts of his career.

In Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles, he matched career highs by pitching seven innings and getting nine strikeouts. He allowed one run — on a homer to Pedro Alvarez — but gave up just two hits, nearly matching the outing he produced April 29, 2017, against the Houston Astros, when he threw seven shutout innings.

Triggs (3-1, 4.41 ERA) threw 96 pitches, 42 four-seamers, and generated 15 swings and misses. It was the fifth time in seven starts this season that Triggs allowed two runs or fewer.

Triggs is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two career appearances against the Yankees. In his lone start against the Yankees on May 28, he was let down by his defense and allowed six runs (one earned) and six hits in six innings. That start occurred in New York and Triggs gave up a grand slam to Judge.

Domingo German (0-1, 2.66) gets his second career start for the Yankees as he fills in for Jordan Montgomery.

German retired the first 11 hitters in six hitless innings while throwing a career-high 84 pitches in his first career start Sunday against the Cleveland Indians. The Yankees won the game 7-4, but German did not get a decision.

He retired 18 of 20 hitters and was the first pitcher since 1893 to throw at least six hitless innings and get at least nine strikeouts.

German also was the first Yankee with a hitless start of his least six innings in his debut as a starting pitcher. Additionally, German was the fourth Yankee with at least nine strikeouts in his first career start, joining Hideki Irabu (1997), Dan Tripple (1915) and Russ Ford (1910).

His five previous appearances this season were in relief.

“I’ve been waiting a long time,” German said through an interpreter. “It goes back to when I was a kid playing the game and daydreaming of an opportunity like this and hopefully pitching a no-hitter or perfect game. … It means a lot to me.”

In German’s only appearance against Oakland, he pitched four scoreless innings of relief and fanned six in a 5-2 road loss on June 17.