Profar offsets blown double play, lifts A’s over Yankees 8-2

NEW YORK (AP) — Sold-out Yankee Stadium cheered when crew chief Jim Reynolds took off his headset, pointed to second base and signaled safe. Then he looked toward first and did the same, and the Bronx reached another level of bedlam.

“That wasn’t ideal,” Oakland starter Brett Anderson said.

Wasn’t enough to cool the A’s recent run against New York, either.

Jurickson Profar delivered two tiebreaking hits to atone for his role in the double-reversal of a double play, and the Athletics beat the Yankees 8-2 Friday night.

Profar connected in the second for a 1-0 lead and added a two-run double in the sixth for a 4-2 edge. That made up for his flawed footwork as the pivot on a blown double play in the fourth that led to a Yankees run.

Oakland pulled within a half-game of Cleveland for the top AL wild card and held its one-game edge over Tampa Bay for the second. The A’s swept a three-game series against the AL East-leading Yankees in Oakland last week.

“We just played some good games against them,” manager Bob Melvin said.

New York ended a four-game winning streak hours after placing Gio Urshela on the 10-day injured list, giving the club a record 29 players on the IL this season. CC Sabathia was pulled after three innings with a recurrence of his on-going knee issues, and Tommy Kahnle (3-1) allowed three runs in the sixth.

New York went ahead 2-1 after the unusual replay challenge in the fourth. Austin Romine hit into an apparent 6-4-3 double play, but replays showed Profar pulled his foot off the bag before catching a feed from shortstop Marcus Semien. Profar was flipped by a hard, clean slide from Brett Gardner, and his throw was shown to be a hair late to first.

“That’s the first time I’ve seen that before where they’re challenging two plays,” Melvin said.

The Yankees took the lead on Mike Tauchman’s groundball double play the next at-bat but only scored one run that inning.

“I think the game was kind of decided in that inning there,” Anderson said. “It could’ve spiraled out of control.”

Profar said he moved too quickly on the turn because he could sense Gardner charging. His instincts — honed before video reviews eliminated the neighborhood play — told him to get off the bag, and he was worried about getting crushed.

“That’s the only play I had,” Profar said. “If I stood a little bit longer, maybe I’m gone.”

Profar’s homer off Sabathia was his 18th of the season and second in two games. The 26-year-old has struggled through most of his first season with Oakland but has five hits over the past two nights.

Anderson (11-9) pitched two-run ball over six innings. He allowed six hits, struck out one and induced 14 groundouts.

Kahnle blew New York’s advantage two innings later. Seth Brown delivered a pinch-hit, RBI double to tie it before Profar’s two-run knock.

Brown added two RBI singles after that while Oakland pulled away. The rookie has hits in seven straight at-bats, one shy of a team record last accomplished by Josh Reddick in 2016. He’s the first A’s player with 10 hits in his first five career games since Spook Jacobs had 10 with the Philadelphia A’s in 1954.

“He’s just a fighter,” Melvin said.

Mark Canha had an RBI triple for Oakland in the seventh, and Semien hit his 25th homer leading off the ninth.

Struggling former closer Blake Treinen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for Oakland. He struck out two, and Profar made a diving stop and two-hop throw on Romine’s grounder to end it.

BRONX BEAT

Urshela’s IL stint pushed New York past the 2016 Dodgers, who set a record with 28 players on the then-disabled list.

Sabathia may join him. The 39-year-old lacked his usual pinpoint command, and he was pulled after three innings of one-run ball. He threw 48 pitches and said the pain in his knee was a 10 out of 10. He already visited with a doctor, and he thinks he’ll get it drained and a cortisone shot Saturday.

Sabathia plans to retire at the end of the season.

“It’s frustrating for sure,” he said.

Slugging first baseman Luke Voit was activated. He’d been out since July 30 with a sports hernia. He drilled hard singles in his first two at-bats.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: 3B Matt Chapman returned to the lineup after being held out Thursday, a day after taking a pitch off his helmet.

Yankees: CF Aaron Hicks (right flexor strain) has been cleared to begin a throwing program. … RHP Dellin Betances (right shoulder impingement) will throw a bullpen at the team’s complex in Tampa, Florida, on Saturday, then throw his next session in New York on Monday to avoid the approaching hurricane. … LHP Jordan Montgomery (Tommy John surgery) pitched 1 2/3 innings with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, allowing a run and striking out three.

UP NEXT

Yankees RHP Domingo Germán (17-3, 4.03) has won eight of his past 10 starts and is closing in on a most-unexpected 20-win season. His only loss in that stretch came at Oakland on Aug. 20, when he allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings. He’ll start Saturday against A’s RHP Homer Bailey (12-8, 5.04), who handed Germán one of his three defeats while with Kansas City in April.