Aaron Judge blooped a two-strike, run-scoring single to right field with two outs in the ninth inning Thursday night, allowing the visiting New York Yankees, after blowing a six-run lead, to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a four-game series.
The win was the Yankees’ 12th straight and allowed them to move 5 1/2 games ahead of the A’s in the race for wild-card spots in the American League. It’s the Yankees’ longest winning streak since they won 13 in a row in September 1961 and New York is now an MLB-best 47-23 in games decided by one or two runs.
In losing their fifth straight, the A’s used a two-run third, three-run fourth and one-run fifth to erase all of an early 6-0 Yankees advantage.
Neither team scored again until the ninth, when Anthony Rizzo drew a two-out walk from Oakland closer Lou Trivino (5-7).
After pinch-runner Tyler Wade had stolen second and taken third on catcher Sean Murphy’s throwing error, Judge fought off the next Trivino offering into right field for the eventual difference-maker.
Jonathan Loaisiga (9-4), who worked a scoreless eighth, was credited with the win. Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman stranded the potential tying run at second base in the ninth for his 24th save of the season and 300th of his career.
The Yankees wasted little time jumping on Oakland starter James Kaprielian, getting solo home runs from Giancarlo Stanton, his 23rd, and Brett Gardner, his sixth, in the second inning.
The advantage grew to 6-0 in the third when Rizzo doubled in a run and, after Judge walked, Joey Gallo smacked a three-run homer, his 30th of the season.
Kaprielian survived the inning and went on to complete five, charged with six runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out eight.
After Yankees starter Jameson Taillon had retired the first six Oakland batters in order, Matt Chapman and Murphy led off the third with back-to-back homers to make it a 6-2 game. The homers were No. 20 for Chapman and No. 15 for Murphy.
The A’s got within 6-5 and ended Taillon’s night in the fourth on a bases-loaded walk drawn by Chapman and a two-run single by Elvis Andrus.
Taillon couldn’t finish the inning, having allowed five runs and four hits in 3 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out four.
Josh Harrison’s eighth homer of the year, a solo shot off reliver Albert Abreu, drew the A’s even in the fifth.
Judge had two hits for the Yankees, who out-hit the A’s 9-7.
Chapman and Harrison collected a pair of hits apiece for the A’s, who have lost three of four to the Yankees this season.
–Field Level Media