By HOWIE RUMBERG AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ A.J. Griffin pitched six-hit ball into the eighth inning Friday night and Adam Rosales homered on CC Sabathia’s first pitch, leading the Oakland Athletics to a 2-0 victory over the New York Yankees.
Derek Norris hit an RBI single in the sixth inning to help Oakland open its 10-game road trip with its fourth win in five games.
Griffin (3-2) serenaded his teammates in the visiting clubhouse with guitar and song in English, Spanish and French before preparing for his sixth start of the season. Coming off two losses in which he allowed 11 earned runs and 13 hits in 11 innings, Griffin was smooth on the mound, too.
The Yankees had two runners on base only once, in the third inning, and Griffin needed only nine pitches in the each of the fourth through sixth innings. He struck out four, walked one and was removed for Sean Doolittle after Gardner’s bunt single to start the eighth.
Grant Balfour got the final out for his fourth save this season and 22nd in a row since blowing one on April 29, 2012, securing Oakland’s first nine-inning shutout of the year.
Rosales was batting leadoff for the first time in his career because Coco Crisp is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. He hit an 89 mph fastball from Sabathia (4-3) deep into the to left field stands.
The A’s didn’t threaten again until the fifth, when Nate Freiman, who had three hits, and Rosales singled. But Seth Smith hit a lazy fly to left field for the second out. Robinson Cano kept it a one-run game when he ranged far behind second base to field Jed Lowrie’s bouncer and threw across his body to just nip Lowrie at first to end the inning. A’s manager Bob Melvin briefly let his objection to the call be known to first base umpire Chris Conroy, filling in for Tim McClelland, who was delayed.
The Yankees lost for just the second time in eight games on a 10-game homestand. They mustered only six hits in Joe Girardi’s 1,000th game as a big league manager.
With Joba Chamberlain having gone on the disabled list before the game with an oblique strain and David Robertson unavailable this series because of soreness in the area where the knee meets the hamstring, Girardi was counting on Sabathia to go deep in the game. He was at 93 pitches through five innings, though, and showed signs of fatigue in the sixth.
Yoenis Cespedes walked leading off and went to third base on a line drive by Josh Donaldson that right fielder Ichiro Suzuki appeared to lose in the lights. Suzuki stopped tracking the ball as it zipped by and hit off the wall. Donaldson was nailed trying to stretch at second base for the first out.
Sabathia gave up eight hits and two runs in six innings. He walked two and struck out six.
NOTES: Oakland INF Hiro Nakajima (strained left hamstring) was scheduled to play seven innings for Triple-A Sacramento on Friday night. … Yankees CF Curtis Granderson (broken right forearm) worked out on the field at the team’s complex in Tampa, Fla., but the extended spring training game was canceled by weather. … The Yankees announced Robertson would be their spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Project. …. The Yankees purchased the contract of RHP Preston Claiborne from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. … Freiman is married to LPGA Tour player Amanda Blumenherst.
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