OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Sure, Brandon Moss would like to have more than five hits in his last 40 at-bats. It’s not so bad, though, considering all five have cleared the fences.
Moss hit a two-run homer and a solo shot for his third career two-homer game, and the Oakland Athletics beat the New York Yankees 5-2 on Wednesday night to win their 10th straight home game.
Moss hit his 10th homer in the second inning and 11th with a solo drive in the eighth. He also connected twice April 29 against the Angels. Of his five hits over 40 at-bats in his last 19 games, all are home runs.
“Last year in Triple-A, I did it at exactly this time. I had three weeks straight where the only hits I had were home runs,” Moss said. “I’ll take that. It’s not where I want to be, obviously. I’d much rather be getting hits also. I said it a long time ago, I’ve done it before where I’ve sacrificed power for hits. It still didn’t turn out well. … If you’re able to contribute and drive in runs when you do connect it’s definitely better than taking your seat.”
Moss’ power stroke helped Dan Straily (4-2) win his third consecutive decision. John Jaso added an RBI double and a run-scoring single for Oakland. The A’s (40-27) won for the 20th time in 25 games and are off to their best start since 1990.
Brett Gardner drew a one-out walk in the sixth to end a stretch of 11 straight Yankees retired by Straily. Robinson Cano singled and Mark Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly.
New York missed a scoring chance during an odd sequence in the seventh. Jayson Nix hit a two-out RBI single and stole second. With Nix as the potential tying run, Lyle Overbay came out to pinch-hit with a 1-0 count already against Austin Romine. A’s manager Bob Melvin then made his own switch, to reliever Sean Doolittle. Chris Stewart came on to pinch-hit for Overbay, who never reached the batter’s box but was credited for appearing in the game. Stewart struck out on a changeup to end the inning.
“I’ve never done that before. That was weird,” Doolittle said. “I was like, `What’s going to happen here?’ … I didn’t really know what was going on. I’ve never, in my short time as a pitcher, come in in the middle of a count like that.” Doolittle then pitched a perfect eighth before Grant Balfour finished for his 17th save of the season and 35th in a row dating to April 29, 2012. He retired Nix on a broken-bat comebacker to end it with runners on first and second.
Straily, coming off a pair of no-decisions, allowed two or fewer runs for the fourth time in five outings. He gave up two runs and three hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Oakland owns its longest unbeaten streak at home since another 10-game run from Aug. 11 to Sept. 1, 2006. The A’s secured their first season series victory against the Yankees since going 4-2 in 2007.
Moss, now batting .228, sent the first pitch he saw from Phil Hughes (3-5) over the right-field scoreboard in the second following Josh Reddick’s leadoff single. “It was just a matter of time,” Melvin said of Moss finding a groove. “He was such an instrumental part last year.”
After a 1-2-3 fourth inning, Hughes issued a leadoff walk to Eric Sogard in the fifth. Jaso’s double one out later and another walk to Seth Smith ended the right-hander’s night. Hughes walked a season-high five and lost for the third time in four decisions. He allowed three runs on four hits and struck out three in 4 1-3 innings. He hadn’t walked more than two batters all season.
The Yankees haven’t hit a home run in a season-high five straight games – the club’s longest drought since also going five games from May 17-21, 2006.
“It’s part of the game. You have to fight your way out of it,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We know the guys are capable.”(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)