A-Rod’s two home runs lift New York Yankees

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A-Rod’s two home runs lift Yankees
Off the strength of Alex Rodriguez’ 596th and 597th career home runs, the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics for the second game in a row on Tuesday, giving themselves a 6-1 win in Oakland.
Rodriguez had five RBIs, with four of them coming off of a grand slam, the 21st of his career. In the top of the 3rd, Derek Jeter grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Curtis Granderson and sent Chad Curtis at third. After Mark Teixeira reached base, A-Rod cracked out a homer to deep left to cap off a five run third innings. He would add another one in the top of the 6th, this time to centre field.
C.C Sabathia looked extra sharp for the Yankees, throwing 7 2/3 strong innings and struck out 10 batters while walking three. He conceded seven hits along the way, but the Athelics left six on base throughout. The only Athletics run came in the first, with Kevin Kouzmanoff hitting a double to score Coco Crisp.
Sabathia on a tear
Since reversing a five start win-less streak on June 3rd, Sabathia has been looking terrific, winning seven straight starts, the first Yankee to do so since 2001 when Roger Clemens turned the trick.
More significant is that he did so in a city he’s traditionally struggled in, having lost four straight starts in Oakland until last August. Since then he’s looked good in the city though, winning two of his last three, which he credited with settling down and not trying to do with much.
“I’m over the whole coming here and trying to do too much,” Sabathia said. “I’ve pitched here a lot in the last 10 years. It’s just another place to come play now.”
For Yankees manager Joe Girardi, it came as no surprise that Sabathia would pitch another strong game.
“It’s what he did for us last year,” manager Joe Girardi said. “We’re all used to seeing it. CC has been an ace for a long time, whether it’s been in this league or the National League. He’s on a string right now and he’s pitching great.”
He out-pitched his opposite number, fellow All-Star Trevor Cahill, who lasted six innings and let in an even six runs, including two home runs. Aside from his one critical error to Rodriguez, it might have been a closer game, but according to Cahill it was just a pitch that he didn’t throw the way he’d intended to.
“It was supposed to be a 2-seamer but I didn’t see the finger,” Cahill said. “It was probably the only 4-seamer I threw all night. I didn’t want to walk in a run in that situation so I went after him. A guy like that is going to hit that pitch. He beat me again.”
Like Sabathia, Cahill had come into this game looking very sharp, winning seven starts in a row.
Yankees are clicking
For the first time in a little while, the Yankees have achieved some breathing space for themselves at the top of the AL East division. Divisional rivals the Boston Red Sox have slipped somewhat recently, falling to 3.5 games behind the Yankees, who sit at the top. Additionally, fringe contender the Toronto Blue Jays have completely imploded recently, meaning there’s one less team for the Yankees to deal with. Right now their stiffest competition comes from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who are two games back.
The Athletics are now likely going to go into the All-Star break below .500, as they currently sit at 41-44. With three losses in their last four, they’ll try to reverse their fortunes on Wednesday to close out the series and avoid getting swept at home.



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