The Yankees took a 4-0 lead into the 4th inning, but because they have been playing so poor lately, even that wasn't even enough to get them over the Oakland Athletics, who defeated the Yankees for a second straight night, this time by a final score of 6-4 on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Vidal Nuno was trying to add to a quality start in his last trip to the mound, but wasn't able to make it out of the 5th inning for the fourth time in his nine starts this season.
Nuno was able to work around a couple of two-out singles in the 1st inning to help take a shutout into the 4th inning before the A's actually put any runs on the board.
The Yankees tagged Athletics starter Jesse Chavez for four runs in the 3rd inning to jump out to a big league. Ichiro walked to open the winning then went first to third on a one-out single by Brett Gardner. After Gardner stole second base, Derek Jeter put the Yanks on the board with an infield single, beating out a groundball to the shortstop.
Then the next batter, Jacoby Ellsbury, hit a three-run homerun into the right field bullpen, pushing the Yankees' lead to 4-0. Not only was scoring four runs in an inning a big deal for the Yanks, but this was their first time scoring more than three runs in a game since last Wednesday in St. Louis.
Ellsbury, by the way, picked up three hits in this game, and has been hitting well during this current homestand (9-for-23). He is also on a nine-game hitting streak.
Yoenis Cespedes put the A's on the board with a solo homerun to begin the 4th inning. Oakland tacked on a second run in the following inning on a Jed Lowrie sac-fly, cutting the lead to 4-2. Matt Daley took over for Nuno in the 5th, and gave up another leadoff homerun to Cespedes in the 6th.
Nuno was charged for two runs in six hits in 4.2 innings, with five strikeouts and a walk. Daley put the next batter one, then Matt Thornton did the same to load the bases with nobody out. Alberto Callaspo flew out on the warning track for a near grand slam, but settled for a sac-fly that gave the A's a 3-2 lead.
Joe Girardi, I guess, was trying to get the most he could out of Thornton, letting him face five batters on 24 pitches. He's usually just a lefty-on-lefty guy, but no tonight.
Jose Ramirez made his Major League debut after being called up from Triple-A before the game. Josh Donaldson welcomed him to the big leagues with a solo homerun that extended Oakland's lead to 5-2. That was the only run off of Ramirez in two innings.
Wade LeBlanc also made his big league debut, taking Alfredo Aceves' place on the roster after he was DFA'd today, but LeBlanc wasn't much different that Aceves. He let the first three batters of the 9th get on base to load the bases, then hit Derek Norris to force in a run.
Outside of the 3rd inning, the Yankees' offense was pretty quite. Gardner had three hits to go up against Ellsbury's three. Other than that, nobody else had more than one hit.