OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — On paper, it looked like a major mismatch, with last-place Oakland sending out a couple of struggling starters against Aaron Judge and the powerful New York Yankees.
Instead, the Yankees ended up with five hits in a puzzling set of back-to-back losses.
Minor league call-up Adrián Martínez held New York hitless into the fifth inning and the Athletics beat Yankees 4-1 Sunday.
“This is the time of the year when it’s kind of a grind,” Judge said. “This team knows that. We got our butt kicked. We have to step up and respond.”
One night after the vaunted Yankees lineup managed one hit in 11 innings against Adam Oller and the Oakland bullpen, New York wasn’t much better against another starter who entered with an ERA above 6.00.
Martínez (3-3), called up from Triple-A before the game, allowed two walks and no other baserunners until Aaron Hicks’ single with two outs in the fifth for New York’s second hit in an 18-inning span against the last-place A’s.
“We should be able to put together more offense,” manager Aaron Boone said. “We got to if we’re going to be the kind of team we expect to be. We have to do a better job.”
Kyle Higashioka added an RBI single in the fifth for the only run off Martinez, who allowed three hits in 5 1/3 innings.
New York managed just one more hit off the Oakland bullpen, with A.J. Puk getting three outs for his fourth save.
The strong pitching kept Judge stuck on 49 homers as he tries to become the 10th player in big league history with multiple seasons with at least 50 home runs. Judge went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.
“You have to tip your cap sometimes,” Judge said. ”They had some good pitchers over there who made pitches when they had to and kept us off balance the last couple of days.”
The A’s jumped on Clarke Schmidt (5-3) early in his second start of the season. Stephen Vogt, who hit a tying two-run homer in the 10th on Saturday, followed it up with an RBI double in the first and scored on Dermis Garcia’s single.
Tony Kemp and Garcia added RBI singles in the third to make it 4-0.
That was more than enough for Martinez.
“When I saw Adrian last night, he had a big smile on his face,” manager Mark Kotsay said. “This kid just seems to feed off big environments or the Triple-A numbers don’t show how he’s able to go out and perform here. He did that today against one of the best lineups in the league.”
The win came after the A’s were officially eliminated from the AL West race with Houston’s win over Baltimore. This is the earliest Oakland has ever been eliminated from winning the division.
Yankees: LHP Anthony Banda was signed and added to the active roster to replace Aroldis Chapman, who went on the IL Saturday. Banda got two outs in his Yankees debut. … RHP Luis Gil was recalled and transferred to the 60-day IL. … Boone said LHP Zach Britton (Tommy John surgery) left his second second minor league rehab appearance in Florida on Saturday with cramping in his glute but is expected to make his next appearance in a few days. … LHP Chasen Shreve was assigned to the Yankees FCL roster.
Athletics: OF Ramon Laureano (left oblique) won’t join the team on the upcoming road trip. Laureano took a day off in his rehab work after feeling sore after running the bases Saturday. … OF Cristian Pache was also called up from Triple-A Las Vegas before the game and LHP Jared Koenig and INF David MacKinnon were optioned to the minors.
The A’s honored the 2002 team that won what was then an AL-record 20 straight games. Scott Hatteberg and Art Howe addressed the crowd prior to the game and Miguel Tejada threw the ceremonial first pitch to Hatteberg. More than a dozen players were in attendance.
“It bonded us and welded us as a club,” said Hatteberg, who hit a game-ending homer in the 20th win after the A’s blew an 11-run lead against Kansas City. “I see these guys and I look at them and it’s like I looked at them back then. We are a tight group now.”
Yankees: RHP Frankie Montas (4-10, 3.84 ERA) will make his fifth start with the Yankees when New York opens a three-game series at the Los Angeles Angels.
Athletics: Oakland hits the road for a six-game trip starting Tuesday in Washington when Cole Irvin (6-11, 3.16 ERA) takes the mound looking to snap a personal four-game losing streak.
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