The Oakland Athletics came out on the right side of a one-run game for a change.
Ben Zobrist drew a bases-loaded walk from David Carpenter in the seventh inning to break a tie and the A’s rallied from a three-run deficit to beat the New York Yankees 5-4 on Thursday night.
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"We haven’t won many games like that this year," starter Kendall Graveman said. "For them to battle back and put up runs late in the game and for our bullpen to a great job tonight, that’s a big confidence builder for us."
Billy Burns and Brett Lawrie homered off CC Sabathia (2-7) to start the comeback from a 3-0 hole and the A’s went on to beat the Yankees for the 10th time in their past 11 meetings in Oakland.
The A’s won their first one-run game at home since last Sept. 6, ending a 12-game skid that was the longest in franchise history. The A’s were 2-15 overall in one-run games this season, a major reason why they have the worst record (18-32) in the American League.
"We played the game the right way tonight," Lawrie said. "Ben Zobrist with a great at-bat. That was pretty much the whole game right there."
Alex Rodriguez tied Barry Bonds for second place on the all-time RBIs list and Brian McCann homered in his third straight game for the Yankees, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Evan Scribner (1-0) retired all five batters he faced for the win. Tyler Clippard allowed a two-out RBI double by Brett Gardner in the ninth before getting Chase Hedley to fly out for his fifth save in six chances.
Sabathia was cruising with a three-run lead in the fifth inning before Burns hit his second homer of the season just inside the foul pole in left field.
Lawrie tied the game with a two-run shot in the sixth and the A’s knocked out Sabathia when Josh Phegley and Mark Canha reached to open the seventh.
Carpenter, put into the game in a tight spot because of a tired bullpen, walked Zobrist with one out to force in Canha with the go-ahead run and Billy Butler added a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3.
"Guys got to get it done," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "That’s what we’re asking them to do, and sometimes it’s going to be like that. That’s part of the game. We just weren’t able to do it tonight."
Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly in the fifth made it 3-0 and tied him for second with 1,996 career RBIs. Hank Aaron has the record with 2,297. Babe Ruth drove in 2,214 runs, according to baseball-reference.com, but RBIs did not become an official stat until 1920 and the Elias Sports Bureau officially credits him with 1,992.
"He’s one of the greats," Rodriguez said of Bonds. "It is kind of special because he’s also a friend and I know him very well."
Yankees: RHP Masahiro Tanaka, out since April 29 with right wrist tendinitis and forearm strain, is expected to rejoin the starting rotation next week. Tanaka pitched three innings in a rehab start for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday and is flying to meet the team in California before the Yankees head north to begin a three-game series in Seattle. … CF Slade Heathcott was scratched from the lineup with a strained right quad. Chris Young replaced him in the lineup.
Athletics: An MRI taken on LHP Scott Kazmir’s pitching shoulder showed no structural damage and he may only miss one start. Kazmir left Wednesday after three innings and complained of tightness. … RHP A.J. Griffin pitched two innings of a simulated game and will wait for the team to determine the next step in his recovery from elbow surgery.
Rodriguez was initially called out on McCann’s single in the fourth inning when umpire Ed Hickox ruled he missed home plate while eluding the tag. Phegley then tagged Rodriguez out as he stood next to the plate. But Rodriguez emphatically waved that he was safe and he was proven correct on replay, which showed his hand just got a piece of home plate.
"That was not pretty," Rodriguez said. "That looked like Shaquille O’Neal coming out of a pick. I’m glad they got it right."
Yankees: LHP Chris Capuano (0-2) is looking to avoid losing three consecutive starts for the first time since 2012. Capuano missed the first six weeks of the season with a strained right quad.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (5-2) makes his second career start against New York. Gray’s 1.77 ERA is the third-lowest by an Oakland pitcher after 10 starts in the designated hitter era.