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Oakland at New York

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A-Rod, Jeter homers back up Wright as Yanks edge A's

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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NEW YORK -- Even without Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield, the New York Yankees have plenty of power.

They're getting some pretty good pitching these days, too.

Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer, Derek Jeter also connected and New York got a useful start from Jaret Wright in a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

"We know we have enough in the tank," Rodriguez said. "They said we can score 1,000 runs with those guys, and now we probably can score 890 -- but that's still enough to win a lot of games."

Wright (1-2) held Oakland's slumping lineup in check into the sixth inning, helping the Yankees improve to 12-0 in day games. He got strong relief work from Scott Proctor and Kyle Farnsworth, who worked around Jeter's ninth-inning error to earn his first save with New York.

"Proctor has been incredible," Rodriguez said. "I've never seen a guy improve so much in one year."

The A's have lost four straight, matching a season high, and seven of 10. They did get catcher Jason Kendall (suspension) and slugger Eric Chavez (bacterial infection) back after both missed the previous four games.

Kendall had an RBI single. Chavez went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, stranding six runners.

"I feel fine for a normal human being. But for a ballplayer, it isn't good enough," Chavez said. "I don't think I'm going to play tomorrow. I want to help this team and I don't think I can do that right now. I want to take a couple of days to regenerate and aim for maybe Tuesday.

"My bat speed was really slow. I said I'd give it a try today and it didn't work out," he added. "I really didn't feel in the groove of the game."

Oakland DH Frank Thomas (strained right quadriceps) sat out for the second consecutive game, but manager Ken Macha said he might be able to play Sunday.

Making his third start for the A's in place of injured Rich Harden, Brad Halsey (1-2) gave up four runs, five hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings.

Halsey came up with the Yankees in 2004 and was traded to Arizona before last season as part of the deal that brought Randy Johnson to New York.

The left-hander fell to 0-3 with an 8.71 ERA in five career starts at Yankee Stadium.

"They're just another team in the American League. A good one, but just another team," Halsey said. "They made me work, work hard, get my pitch count up and that's why it was such a very short day. It wasn't good."

Pitching for the first time in 10 days, Wright lasted 5 1/3 innings for his first win in seven starts (eight appearances) since Sept. 13 against Tampa Bay.

"It's not ideal, but you do your job. You do the best you can staying ready," Wright said.

Yankees starters are 13-2 with a 3.19 ERA in the last 18 games. Chien-Ming Wang threw eight outstanding innings of three-hit ball Friday night in a 2-0 victory over Oakland's Barry Zito.

New York has won 10 of 13 to move into sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time this season.

Wright got a nice hand from the crowd of 53,907 as he walked off the mound. Proctor threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings to set up Farnsworth, who worked the ninth because star closer Mariano Rivera pitched the previous three nights.

An error by Jeter at shortstop led to Jay Payton's two-out RBI single, cutting it to 4-3. But Farnsworth retired Dan Johnson on a grounder with two on to end it.

"We snuck away," Yankees manager Joe Torre said.

Rodriguez hit a long drive in the first that landed in New York's bullpen and bounced up into the rarely reached left-center bleachers. It was his second homer in two days and third in four games.

Jeter connected leading off the third to make it 4-0.

"We lost two home run hitters, but we've hit four home runs in two days," Torre said. "So I can't figure it out."

Dan Johnson's sixth-inning single put runners at the corners and chased Wright. It also snapped Oakland's 5-for-54 (.093) skid with runners in scoring position over the past eight games.

Kendall followed with a run-scoring single off Tanyon Sturtze, ending a 32-inning scoreless streak for the A's at Yankee Stadium dating to last season.

"Good thing I didn't know that," Macha said. "I might have bunted in the first inning or tried to steal bases or something."

Mark Ellis' two-out RBI double cut it to 4-2. But Proctor struck out Nick Swisher on three pitches, stranding runners at second and third.

Proctor also retired Ellis on a foul popup with two on to end the eighth. The A's stranded 13 runners.

"None of us come here to be mop-up guys," Proctor said. "We always hope to be in a key role to help the team."

Notes

  • Sturtze was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game because of soreness in his pitching shoulder. The Yankees purchased the contract of RHP Scott Erickson from Triple-A Columbus.
  • Oakland put All-Star reliever Justin Duchscherer on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Chad Gaudin from Triple-A Sacramento. Gaudin relieved Halsey and pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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A-Rod's three-run blast in the first inning is his third homer in the last four games.  (AP)
A-Rod's three-run blast in the first inning is his third homer in the last four games. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

A. Rodriguez
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
New York

J. Wright
IP 5.1
H 5
ER 2
BB 3
K 5
 
Oakland Athletics
Mark Ellis, 2B5021006 .259
Nick Swisher, LF4110124 .315
Mark Kotsay, CF5010012 .260
Eric Chavez, DH5000036 .287
Bobby Crosby, SS4000113 .228
Jay Payton, RF5121001 .231
Dan Johnson, 1B5110003 .177
Jason Kendall, C3011110 .247
Marco Scutaro, 3B2010201 .184
Totals383935826 
Batting
2B - Mark Ellis 2 (7, Wright, Sturtze), Jay Payton (6, Wright)
RBI - Mark Ellis (11), Jay Payton (4), Jason Kendall (8)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Ellis (2), Jay Payton (1)
Team LOB - 13
Oakland Athletics
Brad Halsey (L,1-2) 4.1544452 3.21
Chad Gaudin 2.2200020 3.48
Huston Street 1000010 5.73
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Halsey 95-59, Chad Gaudin 33-23, Huston Street 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Halsey 6-2, Chad Gaudin 5-1, Huston Street 1-1
Batters Faced - Brad Halsey 22, Chad Gaudin 10, Huston Street 3
New York Yankees
Johnny Damon, CF3120100 .290
Derek Jeter, SS4111014 .338
Jason Giambi, DH3100110 .278
Alex Rodriguez, 3B3123100 .278
Bernie Williams, RF4000002 .253
Robinson Cano, 2B3010111 .317
Andy Phillips, 1B4000023 .139
Kelly Stinnett, C4000020 .217
Melky Cabrera, LF3010010 .444
    Bubba Crosby, LF0000000 .259
Totals314744810 
Batting
HR - Derek Jeter (4, Halsey), Alex Rodriguez (9, Halsey)
RBI - Derek Jeter (25), Alex Rodriguez 3 (29)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Derek Jeter (3, misplayed grounder), Alex Rodriguez (5, misplayed grounder)
New York Yankees
Jaret Wright (W,1-2) 5.1522350 5.06
Tanyon Sturtze (H,3) 0.1200000 7.59
Scott Proctor (H,4) 2.1100120 1.48
Kyle Farnsworth (S,1) 1110110 3.07
Pitches-Strikes - Jaret Wright 96-57, Tanyon Sturtze 13-8, Scott Proctor 35-24, Kyle Farnsworth 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaret Wright 5-7, Tanyon Sturtze 1-0, Scott Proctor 2-3, Kyle Farnsworth 2-1
Batters Faced - Jaret Wright 25, Tanyon Sturtze 3, Scott Proctor 9, Kyle Farnsworth 6
Game Information
Attendance - 53907
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 61
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Jim Wolf, Third Base - Joe West