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Yanks Back On Top Sunday After Saturday Loss To A’s

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Mariano Rivera (Paul J. Bereswill/AP Photo)

Mariano Rivera (Paul J. Bereswill/AP Photo)

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By MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) _ Bartolo Colon pitched seven effective innings to
end a three-start losing streak and Curtis Granderson connected for
a two-run homer, leading the New York Yankees over the Oakland
Athletics 7-5 on Sunday.

Eduardo Nunez hit a two-run double and catcher Russell Martin
was in the middle of everything for the Yankees. They beat All-Star
lefty Gio Gonzalez and returned to their winning ways against the
A’s when Mariano Rivera staved off a rally in the ninth with a bit
of good fortune.

Hideki Matsui’s fifth hit, which matched a career high, loaded
the bases with one out in the ninth. Josh Willingham cut it to 7-5
with an RBI single, the only run Rivera has allowed in 22 outings
at home this season.

David DeJesus then hit a liner to first baseman Mark Teixeira,
and pinch-runner Ryan Sweeney broke for second. Sweeney was easily
trapped off the bag for a game-ending double play.

A one-run loss Saturday snapped New York’s 11-game winning
streak against Oakland. But the Yankees rebounded behind Colon,
taking two of three meetings over the weekend. The Athletics have
lost 10 straight series to New York, an Oakland record against any
club.

Matsui tormented his former team again, going 5 for 5 with two
doubles and an RBI for the A’s. The day before, he homered and
scored twice in a 4-3 victory.

The broiling heat subsided a bit, with a game-time temperature
of 85 degrees following readings of 93 on Saturday and 100 on
Friday night.

A brief shower in the eighth cooled off the crowd of 45,586,
just as Oakland mounted a comeback attempt with three doubles off
All-Star setup man David Robertson. Kurt Suzuki’s second two-bagger
of the game cut it to 6-4, but Rivera retired Cliff Pennington on a
broken-bat grounder to end the inning.

Rivera finished up to reach 25 saves for the 15th consecutive
season, extending his major league record.

Nunez manufactured an insurance run in the eighth, scoring
without a throw on Derek Jeter’s RBI groundout against a drawn-in
infield. That came against an erratic Joey Devine, who appeared to
have trouble gripping the ball again, just as he did while sweating
profusely Friday night.

Andruw Jones had a pair of RBI singles for New York, a big
league-best 29-6 in day games. The Yankees have won 16 of 18
against Oakland and 26 of 31 matchups overall since the start of
the 2008 season.

The A’s are 7-26 in their last 33 road games.

Colon (7-6) allowed two second-inning runs and scattered eight
hits for his first win since July 2 against the Mets. The
38-year-old right-hander had dropped three straight starts since
winning four in a row.

Gonzalez (9-7) lasted 4 2-3 innings, the second time in three
starts he’s failed to get through five. Before that, he had pitched
into the sixth in every outing this year.

Nunez’s two-run double over Willingham’s head in left put the
Yankees ahead 3-2 with two outs in the fourth. An athletic play by
Martin helped them protect that slim lead in the fifth.

With a runner on first and two outs, Matsui doubled into the
right-center gap. Granderson cut the ball off just in front of the
warning track and started a long relay. Second baseman Robinson
Cano’s throw home was high, but Martin made a leaping grab and came
down in time to tag a sliding Eric Sogard on the hip.

Colon clapped his approval, and New York was out of the inning.
Jeter drew a leadoff walk from Gonzalez in the bottom half and
Granderson drove a full-count pitch into the second deck in right
for his team-leading 27th homer.

Jones added an RBI infield single with two outs to make it 6-2.
Martin also singled twice, stole a base and threw out a runner
attempting to steal. He scored on Nunez’s double and Jones’ two-out
single in the second.

Pennington had an RBI single for the A’s in the second and
Sogard added a run-scoring double.

NOTES: Oakland RHP Tyson Ross, on the disabled list since May 20
with a strained left oblique, was slated to throw 65-70 pitches in
a rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento. But interim manager Bob
Melvin wouldn’t commit to putting Ross back in the rotation once
he’s healthy. “We’ll see how it plays out. We have five guys right
now,” Melvin said. “These things have a way of working themselves
out. But certainly there’s some time before we get there and once
we get there, we’ll see where we’re at.” … Matsui also had five
hits for the Yankees on July 22, 2007, against Tampa Bay. …
Oakland tied a season high with 15 hits. … 3B Scott Sizemore was
rested and replaced in the lineup by Sogard, who gave up on a very
playable popup with a shift on against Teixeira in the sixth. …
New York reliever Rafael Soriano (right elbow inflammation) was
scheduled to pitch for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as part of
his rehab assignment. If he comes out of that outing OK, he could
pitch again Monday. And if the Yankees are happy with his stuff, he
could be activated soon after that. … Jeter was the DH, with
Nunez starting at SS. … Sunday was the 28th anniversary of the
famous “Pine Tar game” between the Royals and Yankees.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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