If the Oakland Athletics are to build on a strong homestand and continue their recent success against the New York Yankees, they must find a way to end their longest road slide of the season.
The A's can avoid a fifth straight road defeat by winning their fourth consecutive game overall Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.After winning the first five of a nine-game trip, Oakland (35-22) totaled seven runs while losing the final four at Tampa Bay and Toronto from May 22-25. The A's, however, bounced back to average 6.9 runs while going 5-2 at home against AL Central-leading Detroit and the Los Angeles Angels, their closest pursuer in the West."They have great pitching, guys who can get on base at the bottom of the order and who can do the little things," said the Angels' Jered Weaver, who took the loss Sunday as the A's completed the three-game sweep with a 6-3 victory.Oakland gained plenty of momentum to take on the road after batting .320 and hitting six home runs while outscoring the Angels 26-11."Got some timely hits and we pitched well," third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "I definitely think it's one of those series we walk away and feel good about ourselves."Donaldson went 11 for 28 (.393) with four homers and 12 RBIs on the homestand after batting .158 (3 for 19) in the final six of the previous road trip.A .200 career hitter in six games in the Bronx, Donaldson went 3 for 25 with a homer and seven strikeouts versus New York overall last season.The A's have won four straight and 10 of 13 against the Yankees (29-27).Including the postseason, Oakland's Scott Kazmir (6-2, 2.36 ERA) is 1-4 with a 7.27 ERA in his last five starts versus New York. However, he's 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA in his last four overall.The left-hander threw a six-hitter and struck out eight in beating Detroit 3-1 on Wednesday.New York's Mark Teixeira is 9 for 17 with four doubles and a home run during the regular season versus Kazmir, but is 1 for 14 with seven strikeouts and seven walks in his last five contests while dealing with a sore wrist.It's uncertain if he will be in the lineup after not playing during Monday's 10-2 loss to Seattle.Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in that contest and is 6 for 42 with two doubles and two homers versus Kazmir. His .143 average is his worst against any left-hander with at least 25 at-bats in his storied career.Teammate Yangervis Solarte is 7 for 15 with two doubles and a home run while the Yankees are 1/3 on their seven-game homestand.New York's Hiroki Kuroda (4-3, 4.57) is 2-0 with a 3.90 ERA in his last five starts, and allowed three runs despite nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 7-4 win at St. Louis on Wednesday."As a player, I feel responsible to stay healthy and be conditioned so I can compete with these guys for the whole season," he told the Yankees' official website. "We all have to get together as a whole and perform well."The right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two road starts against the A's, but 0-2 with a 6.94 ERA during a pair of 5-4 losses at home versus Oakland.Donaldson is 2 for 9 with three strikeouts against Kuroda.
The Yankees were beaten at home by the Twins on Sunday, the Mariners on Monday and the Athletics on Tuesday.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this is the first time the Yankees have lost at home to three different teams over a three-day span since September 1915 at the Polo Grounds, when they dropped a doubleheader to the Senators, followed by single-game losses to the Browns and Tigers.
Brandon Moss hit two home runs Tuesday, the sixth multi-home run game of his career.
His home run in the 10th inning was his third career go-ahead home run in extra innings.