Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

NY Yankees leads 1-0 (as of 5/4)

Game 1: Tuesday, May 4
NY Yankees10Final
Oakland8
Game 2: Wednesday, May 5
NY Yankees4Final
Oakland3
Game 3: Thursday, May 6
NY Yankees4Final
Oakland7

Yankees 10

(15-11, 6-6 away)

Athletics 8

(12-14, 4-6 home)

10:05 PM ET, May 4, 2004

O.co Coliseum, Oakland, California 

123456789 R H E
NYY 001200601 10 17 1
OAK 304010000 8 7 0

W: D. Osborne (2-0)

L: C. Bradford (1-1)

S: M. Rivera (10)

Rodriguez youngest to reach milestone

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez arrived at his locker Tuesday afternoon to find balloons and a bottle of Cognac, a gift from a fan.

The present he received after the game meant much more -- his 350th home run ball.

Rodriguez hit career homer No. 350 and Ruben Sierra had a three-run double in a six-run seventh inning to send the New York Yankees to their seventh straight victory, 10-8 over the Oakland Athletics.

"This is my biggest hit as a Yankee," said Rodriguez, who struggled at the start in his first season wearing pinstripes.

New York rallied from a 7-1 deficit and spoiled a strong offensive night by the A's, who got two home runs from Eric Chavez and one from Scott Hatteberg.

The Yankees tied Boston for first place in the AL East, making up 4½ games since getting swept at home by the Red Sox April 23-25.

New York's winning streak began the previous Tuesday night with another comeback victory over Oakland -- also keyed by Sierra. This time, he hit a bases-loaded double with two outs in the seventh for a 9-8 New York lead.

Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer in the seventh and drove in four runs to raise his batting average to .275. He became the 70th player to reach 350 homers, and the youngest in major league history to do it.

He accomplished the feat at 28 years, 282 days. Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 350th at 28 years, 308 days.

Rodriguez's shot off Mark Mulder to left-center pushed the reigning AL MVP past 1,000 career RBI -- he now has 1,001. It also pulled the Yankees to 8-6.

"It goes fast," Rodriguez said. "I'm 28, and I've been here 10 years now. It's humbling. It brings back memories of the great guys I've played with -- Edgar Martinez, under the tutelage of Lou Piniella, a former Yankee. ...

"Griffey is the most special talent I've ever seen on a baseball diamond. I had a great seat for six years playing with him," Rodriguez said.

Donovan Osborne (2-0) pitched four innings in relief for the win. He also beat the A's the Tuesday before, in New York.

"How about that? That's a good feeling," he said. "When you're losing like that, you just try to keep your team in the game and get outs any way you can."

Mariano Rivera struck out two in a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 10 chances. The Yankees retired the final 15 Oakland batters.

It was the biggest deficit the Yankees have overcome since July 16, 2000, when they defeated Philadelphia 9-8 in 10 innings after trailing 6-0.

Chad Bradford (1-1) walked two in the seventh and took the loss.

New York's Jose Contreras struggled through the shortest start of his career, allowing six earned runs and four hits in two-plus innings. He said he had trouble locating his fastball.

Manager Joe Torre isn't sure what's wrong with the right-hander, who went 7-2 last year in his first major league season.

"He certainly didn't look like the confident guy we had out there five or six days ago," Torre said. "We have to find a way to get it done."

Mulder wasn't sharp in his sixth start of the year, getting tagged for seven runs and 13 hits in 6 1/3 innings for Oakland, which was swept in three games at Yankee Stadium last week and has lost eight of 10 overall.

Mulder's 13 hits allowed were the second most he has given up in his career. His career high was 15, on July 5, 2000, at Texas.

"It's embarrassing when you can't hold a 7-1 lead," Mulder said. "It's ridiculous."

Chavez hit his seventh homer of the season on a 1-2 pitch from Contreras in the first, a two-run shot that bounced up a stairwell in right field. After Jermaine Dye struck out, Hatteberg connected for his second homer.

Chavez hit his second homer -- his eighth of the season -- leading off the fifth, sending an 0-1 pitch from Osborne into the left-field bleachers. It was "a slider that didn't slide," Osborne said.

The A's loaded the bases in the third after Mark Kotsay led off with a single and Eric Byrnes and Chavez walked. Dye walked with the bases loaded to score a run. The A's added two more on Erubiel Durazo's single.

New York, which had a season-high 17 hits, got an insurance run in the ninth. Hideki Matsui hit a key double, and Jorge Posada scored from third when Enrique Wilson beat out a potential double-play grounder.

Jason Giambi, the AL MVP with Oakland in 2000, went 1-for-4 with a walk and grounded into two double plays.

Game notes


Rodriguez is the third-youngest player in major league history to reach 1,000 RBI -- behind Mel Ott (27 years, 94 days) and Jimmie Foxx (27 years, 236 days). ... Chavez had his 10th career multihomer game. His last was Sept. 11, 2003, at Anaheim.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

SPONSORED HEADLINES