The Oakland Athletics previous East Coast road trip didn't go so well. They went 1-5 against the Rays and Red Sox and came home in a tail spin. This trip has gotten off to a much better start. The A's shutout the Yankees in New York behind a solid effort by A.J. Griffin.
Starting Pitching Report
Griffin was 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in his previous two starts. He bounced back in a big way in the Bronx. Griffin threw seven-plus shutout innings on one of baseball's biggest stages. He allowed four hits and only walked one batter while striking out four.
Griffin located his fastball and used a big 68 MPH curveball to keep the Yankees hitters off balance.
After a walk and a ground-rule double by Robinson Cano in the third inning, Griffin got Vernon Wells to pop out with runners on second and third with two outs to eliminate the Yankees first scoring threat.
Jayson Nix got into scoring position with a two-out double in the seventh inning, but Griffin struck out Brannan Boesch swinging to end the Yankees' scoring opportunity.
Griffin left the game after Brett Gardner reached on a bunt single in the eighth inning. Sean Doolittle entered in relief and got Cano to fly out before inducing an inning-ending double play.
Doolittle started the ninth inning to face the left-handed hitting Travis Hafner and struck him out swinging. Ichiro Suzuki, also a lefty, grounded out. Grant Balfour faced the final batter of the ninth inning and got the save.
At the Plate
Adam Rosales had never led off a game in his big league career, but with Coco Crisp on the disabled list, A's manager Bob Melvin was forced to get creative. The A's skipper chose to give Rosales a shot in the leadoff spot and it immediately paid off. Rosales drove the very first pitch of the game into the left field bleachers to give the A's a 1-0 lead.
Hits were few and far between after the leadoff home run. Sabathia was effective, but the A's were able run up his pitch count. He had 94 pitches through five innings.
Nate Freiman collected his second hit of the game in the fifth inning as did Rosales. With two runners on, Jed Lowrie was robbed of a hit up the middle by Robinson Cano to end the inning. Lowrie looked like he might have beaten the throw to first, but first base umpire Chris Conroy said he was out. To make matter less certain, Yankees first baseman Lyle Overbay dropped the ball after catching it.
The A's made it a 2-0 lead in the sixth inning. Yoenis Cespedes led off with a walk and moved to third when Josh Donaldson hit a missile off the right field wall. Donaldson was thrown out trying to reach second base. Derek Norris lined a 3-0 fastball into left field to drive in Cespedes.
Freiman went 3 for 3 against Sabathia, who left the game with 118 pitches through seven innings.
Seth Smith finished 0 for 5 with four strikeouts for the second consecutive game.
In the Field
Norris made a fantastic sliding, spinning, and throwing play on a swinging bunt by Nix. It looked like he had no chance of getting Nix, but got the ball to Nate Freiman more than a step ahead of Nicks.
Bartolo Colon (3-0, 3.38 ERA) takes on Phil Hughes (0-2, 4.67 ERA). Colon has walked just one batter in his first five starts combined. He is 4-6 with a 6.23 ERA in 15 career appearances against the Yankees.