No Coco Crisp? No Yoenis Cespedes? No problem. Not with Brandon Moss and John Jaso providing the pop to give the A's their 10th straight home victory
Moss and Jaso had all five RBI for the A's in their 5-2 defeat of the Yankees Tuesday night, a game in which the A's were facing a right-handed starter, in Phil Hughes, for the first time in six games.
It meant the likes of left-handed hitters Jaso, Moss, Seth Smith and Eric Sogard got starts, especially with Cespedes (left hamstring) and Crisp (right heel) sidelined.
With the victory, the A's (40-27) pulled ahead of the Texas Rangers (38-27) by a full game in the American League West. And Oakland is now 9-3 against the Yankees in their last 12 meetings, with six straight wins at the O.co Coliseum.
At 40-27, the A's have their best start after 67 games since 1990, when the defending World Series champs began 43-24.
Starting pitching report
Dan Straily was unhittable at times -- he retired 11 in a row at one point -- but was shaky at the end of his stint, when he was pulled after throwing one pitch and allowing the potential tying run to get into scoring position on a steal with two out in the seventh. In all, Straily, who improved to 4-2 and lowered his ERA to 4.45, went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs on three hits with one walk, three strikeouts, a hit batter and a wild pitch in his 86 pitches, 61 for strikes. The walk and the hit batter both scored.
Sean Doolittle, summoned with a 1-and-0 count and the potential tying run at second base in the seventh inning, struck out pinch-hitter Chris Stewart to end the threat and maintain the A's one-run lead. He then authored a 1-2-3 eighth inning, which included a white-knuckle seven-pitch battle with Robinson Cano in which he hit six foul balls. Grant Balfour walked another tightrope -- allowing the tying run to come to the plate with two out for the second night in a row -- but emerged unscathed for his 17th save in 17 opportunities this season, his 35th consecutive save dating to last season.
At the plate
Moss' towering two-run home run in the second inning was his 10th homer of the season. It was just his fourth hit 37 at-bats, but all four were home runs. And then, In fact, after two more strikeouts, Moss went deep to lead off the eighth for his third career two-homer game and he is 5 for his last 40…with all five hits being homers. The last time he had a multi-homer game? The 19th-inning walk-off affair against the Angels on April 29. Then there was Jaso, the most unlikely of leadoff men, doubling off the right-center wall for an RBI to score Eric Sogard for a 3-0 lead, and also giving Jaso a career-best eight-game hitting streak, but then singling Sogard home in the eighth.
In the field
It was a dash of Eric Chavez, really, but third baseman Josh Donaldson slightly resembled the six-time Gold Glove winner when he chased down Cano's foul pop up and caught it on the run, with his back to the field of play in the eighth inning. It was the sixth consecutive foul ball hit by Cano in the at-bat and it was the second out of the inning.
The A's announced a crowd of 25,176 at the O.co Coliseum, or, 1,942 fewer than the previous night.
Jarrod Parker (5-6, 4.68 ERA) has faced the Yankees twice in his young career, going 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA against them last season. The right-hander has won three straight starts, with an ERA of 1.77, and has held opponents to a .176 batting average in that time frame. In his last six starts, he is 4-1. Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 2.84) will make his third career start against the A's. He is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA against Oakland, beating the A's at the Coliseum, 2-0, on May 27, 2012, when he allowed four hits in eight innings.