OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Milton Bradley and Frank Thomas both
thought their smashing eighth-inning hits would go soaring out of
the Coliseum. Instead, they learned their new park seems a whole
lot bigger at night.
No matter -- the newest Oakland Athletics still provided more
than enough runs to beat the Yankees, who had an entirely different
set of problems with the ball.
Bradley had three RBI and scored the go-ahead run on Robinson
Cano's eighth-inning error, leading the A's from a four-run deficit
to a 9-4 victory over New York on Wednesday night.
Thomas hit a three-run double in the eighth for the A's, who
roared from behind to take two of three in the Yankees' only visit
to Oakland this season. Bradley led off the inning with a triple
off the wall in the sea-level park, where former A's slugger Jason
Giambi once said the night air seemingly turns the baseball into a
rolled-up pair of socks.
"I thought it was gone," Bradley said. "People told me the
ball doesn't carry here at night, but I guess I had to see it for
myself. It all worked out in the end. ... It feels good to perform
like this. I'm coming in here new and I just want to let my game
speak for itself."
Cano was almost as helpful as the A's hitters, making two
mistakes that led to five unearned runs. After Bradley's blast
against Jaret Wright (0-1), Cano booted Jay Payton's grounder to
second base against the Yankees' drawn-in infield.
Marco Scutaro added a run-scoring single -- and after Oakland
loaded the bases, Thomas provided his second big blast in his first
three days as the A's designated hitter, pounding Kyle Farnsworth's
pitch off the wall in left, inches short of a grand slam.
"I think this year our offense is even better with Milton and
Frank," said right-hander Dan Haren, who pitched six innings. "I
mean, look at the hits those guys got tonight. They already have a
few big hits for us. That's exciting to see them in the lineup."
Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui homered for the Yankees, who
made key errors during both of Oakland's big rallies. During the
A's three-run fourth inning, Derek Jeter dropped a wobbly relay
throw from Cano.
"I took my eye off it a little too soon, but I've got to make
that play," Jeter said. "Everyone is talking about our offense,
but it doesn't win games. It's pitching and defense. We're not
always going to hit."
Joe Kennedy (1-0) got the last out of the eighth and finished
the ninth for Oakland.
Sheffield hit his 450th homer, a three-run shot in the third
inning, as New York took an early 4-0 lead. Sheffield's first homer
of the season broke a tie for 28th place on baseball's career list
with Jeff Bagwell and Thomas, who homered Monday night.
Oakland rallied with three runs in the fourth inning, aided when
Cano and Jeter both bobbled a one-out grounder. Cano initially
kicked the ball but managed to toss it to Jeter, who couldn't catch
it at the bag.
"I'm not perfect," said Cano, who made 17 errors as a rookie
last season. "Some things are going to happen in a game. I don't
want them to happen, but I'm going to learn from my mistakes."
Bradley hit a two-run single before tying it with a bases-loaded
walk in the fifth from Chien-Ming Wang, who had a shaky debut in
his first full season as a starter.
Wang, picked along with Shawn Chacon over Wright for New York's
four-man rotation last week, yielded seven hits and three walks in
4 2/3 innings. Manager Joe Torre wasn't discouraged when Wang
labored through the fourth and fifth frames, however.
"I really didn't notice anything personality-wise," Torre
said. "I thought he worked hard. He had to work very hard."
Haren allowed seven hits and four runs for the A's, but struck
out eight and showed the flash that made him a 14-game winner last
With a day off Thursday before beginning a series against the
Angels, the Yankees used five relievers.
Bernie Williams struck out three times as the Yankees'
Yankees RHP Carl Pavano threw on flat ground at the club's
training complex in Tampa, and he could rejoin the team for
continued rehabilitation after bruising his buttocks last month in
a spring training game. ... Torre used the same lineup in all three
games, while A's manager Ken Macha used three different lineups.
Payton started in place of Nick Swisher, who homered Tuesday. ...
Wright gave up three hits and four runs in two innings for the
Yankees in his first relief appearance since Sept. 28, 2003.