Yanks’ bats silent against Athletics
You would think that after 13 years of displaying one of the strongest outfield arms in the major leagues that Ichiro Suzuki would not be challenged. Athletics third baseman Josh Donaldson in the sixth inning Friday night learned what so many before him already knew – that trying to take an extra base on Ichiro can be fruitless.
Suzuki played the carom of Donaldson’s drive off the top of the right field fence perfectly and threw a laser-beam relay to shortstop Eduardo Nunez at second base to nail Donaldson trying to stretch his hit into a double.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin had even more bases in mind as he convinced the umpiring crew to review the play when it appeared that a fan in the right field grandstand may have interfered with the ball, which might have made it a home run. After checking the videotape, the umpires upheld the initial ruling.
Yoenis Cespedes, who went to third base on Donaldson’s long single, eventually scored on a single to right by Derek Norris. A wild pitch by CC Sabathia put Norris on second base, but he at least learned a lesson. With two out, Nate Freiman got his third hit off Sabathia, a single to right. Norris, a catcher with not much speed, respected Suzuki’s arm and did not try to score. CC got out of the inning as Luke Montz grounded out.
As successful as Ichiro was in preventing runs, he could not do it alone. It did not take many for the A’s to come away the victor because the Yankees’ offense was shut down in a 2-0 loss. A.J. Griffin scattered six hits over seven-plus innings, one of them a two-strike bunt single by Brett Gardner, an example of the Yankees’ desperation against the righthander.
Sabathia was taken deep on the first pitch of the game. Shortstop Adam Rosales smoked a first-pitch fastball to left-center for his first home run of the season. Sabathia settled down nicely but needed major help from second baseman Robinson Cano to get out of a fifth-inning jam. With runners on first and second and two out, Cano made one of his patented wide-ranging to the left grabs and across-the-body throws from the left side of second base to throw out Jed Lowrie at first base, a dandy of a run-saving play.
CC threw 118 pitches over six innings and allowed two runs, eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts and a wild pitch. He left on the losing side but had been effective enough to keep the Yankees in the game.
So did Adam Warren, who was one of the few bright spots for the Yankees. The righthander came out of the bullpen and supplied three innings of scoreless, two-hit relief with two walks and four strikeouts.