AP Baseball Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Pitching coach Curt Young got fired earlier in the day. Oakland veteran Trevor Plouffe was designated for assignment to make way for prized prospect Matt Chapman.
On a night that could have been filled with distractions and disappointment over the major changes , the Athletics played for 4 1/2 hours to finally beat the New York Yankees.
Khris Davis blooped a two-run single in the 10th inning that glanced off second baseman Starlin Castro’s glove in shallow center and the A’s topped the Yankees in a seesaw 8-7 win Thursday night.
“There were definitely a lot of things going on around here,” A’s starter Sonny Gray said. “At the same time, when it gets to 7 o’clock, we have to focus on the task at hand.”
It was Davis’ third career game-ending hit and came after Castro had put New York ahead in the top half on a sacrifice fly.
Davis’ game-winner came off Giovanny Gallegos (0-1) to finally close out the 4-hour, 29-minute game. Rajai Davis singled with two outs and Chad Pinder’s double put runners on second and third.
Liam Hendriks (3-1) pitched the top of the 10th for the win on a night New York stranded 13 baserunners and Oakland 12.
The A’s had failed to hold their leads all game, then came through to snap a three-game skid with just their second victory in the last eight.
Aaron Judge walked against Hendriks in the top half to load the bases for Castro, whose fly allowed Brett Gardner to slide home headfirst and beat the throw.
“We kept fighting back. We got behind then we tied it up, got behind, tied it up,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We did it a bunch of times. It hurts because it’s a matter of a couple inches that you lose that game by and it’s frustrating.”
New Oakland third baseman Chapman struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth, going hitless in his major league debut.
Chris Carter homered in the eighth for the Yankees off John Axford to tie it.
Matt Joyce slid headfirst into first base to avoid an inning-ending double play as Yonder Alonso scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, but the Yankees tied it again in the ninth on Gary Sanchez’s RBI single as Santiago Casilla blew his third save of the season.
Alonso and Jed Lowrie each homered for the A’s.
Gray’s winless stretch reached four starts with his third straight no-decision since he beat the Marlins on May 24.
Top prospect Chapman, a first-round draft pick in 2014, went 0 for 3 with two walks and two strikeouts after being called up from Triple-A Nashville.
Judge, the Yankees’ rookie sensation, returned to his native Northern California and lined the first pitch he saw from Gray for a single to right-center. He struck out in the third, sixth and ninth innings and grounded out in the seventh.
New York used its first draft pick, the 16th overall, to select South Carolina right-hander Clarke Schmidt, who had Tommy John surgery on May 3. Damon Oppenheimer, the Yankees’ vice president of domestic amateur scouting, compared Schmidt with James Kaprielian, taken by New York with the 16th pick two years ago. Kaprielian had Tommy John surgery in April. “With Schmidt we’re getting the kind of stuff we think that we saw from Kaprielian and we think we have the makeup and everything to get to where he comes back to the kind of pitcher we saw as a healthy guy,” Oppenheimer said during a conference call. The Yankees used their 22nd-round pick on Seattle University right-hander Jason Junk. “He’s got a unique name, and it probably doesn’t go along real well with the kind of stuff he has because he’s a 91-to-96 mile-an-hour guy,” Oppenheimer said. “So he just decided to go a different route than the type of name he has.”
Yankees: Sanchez felt tightness in his abductor muscle and is day to day, Girardi said. … LHP CC Sabathia went on the 10-day disabled list after being diagnosed with a left hamstring strain that could sideline him for at least four weeks. The pitcher sustained the Grade 2 strain when pushing off the rubber Tuesday in Anaheim. New York recalled RHP Domingo German from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to take Sabathia’s roster spot and also brought up right-hander Luis Cessa from Triple-A. … 1B Greg Bird suffered a setback in his rehab from a bone bruise in his right ankle. Girardi said Bird will be examined by team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad on Friday.
Athletics: SS Marcus Semien, likely to return in early July from right wrist surgery on April 18, is scheduled to take batting practice on the field Friday and also field groundballs. “That’ll be a big step for him tomorrow,” manager Bob Melvin said. … RHP Andrew Triggs is waiting on a second opinion on his strained left hip.
Yankees: RHP Luis Severino (5-2, 2.75 ERA) pitches the second game after an extra day of rest looking to keep an impressive stretch going. He is 3-0 with a 1.90 ERA over his last seven starts, allowing only five earned runs over 33 1-3 innings during his past five outings.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (6-3, 3.67) is 5-0 with a 1.97 ERA over his last five starts, the longest winning streak of his career.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this story.
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