Left fielder Brett Gardner threw out Matt Olson at the plate with the help of a replay reversal to help Aroldis Chapman escape a bases-loaded, no-outs jam in the ninth inning, and the Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics 7-6 Saturday on Neil Walker’s run-scoring single on the 11th to avoid New York’s first three-game losing streak since last August.
Chapman walked three straight batters around a wild pitch starting the ninth, his velocity down 3-4 mph on the cool afternoon from the 100 mph-plus heat that overpowered Boston on warm spring nights earlier in the week. After visits to the mound by both pitching coach Larry Rothschild and a trainer to check on a cracked fingernail, Chapman struck out Mark Canha, and pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy followed with a 297-foot fly to left field.
Gardner’s one-hop throw to the plate was slightly to the first-base side, and Gary Sanchez had to reach for it and try for a sweep tag at the sliding Olson. Plate umpire James Hoye made an emphatic safe call, but the Yankees asked for a video review and replays appeared to show Sanchez’s mitt just glancing Olson’s jersey.
A.J. Cole (1-0), pitching for the first time since his Yankees debut on April 28, walked Oakland’s first two batters in the 10th, then struck out Jed Lowie and Chris Davis before retiring Olson on a foulout. Cole pitched a perfect 11th that included a pair of called strikeouts.
Chris Hatcher (3-1) walked former Marlins teammate Giancarlo Stanton with one out in the 11th, and Gary Sanchez hit into a forceout. Aaron Hicks walked, and Walker flared a single to center as Sanchez scored standing up ahead of Canha’s weak throw.
New York (27-12) stopped a two-game losing streak that followed its 17-1 run. The Yankees began that day tied with AL East rival Boston for the best record in the major leagues.
Sanchez and Hicks hit the Yankees’ first consecutive home runs of the year in the second, but Oakland ended Domingo German’s 15-inning scoreless streak with a five-run third. Khris Davis hit his 10th homer, a three-run drive that bounced off the top of the left-field wall, and Canha had a two-run single with two outs. Lowrie’s sacrifice fly boosted the lead to 6-2 in the fifth
Judge hit a two-run homer off Andrew Triggs in the bottom half, Walker hit a run-scoring single on a 3-2 pitch off Danny Coulombe for his first RBI off a left-hander this year and Miguel Andujar had a tying single against Ryan Dull. Third baseman Matt Chapman prevented a bigger inning when he made a diving backhand stop of Stanton’s smash and from foul territory threw him out at first for the inning’s first out.
Didi Gregorius ended an 0-for-30 slide — on the afternoon of the Didi Gregorius Bat Day promotion — when he followed Judge’s homer with a single.
After pitching six hitless innings against Cleveland last weekend in his first big league start, German retired his first seven batters before Canha’s single. German allowed six runs, six hits and three walks in five innings, but retired his final three batters — starting a streak in which the Yankees set down 12 hitters in order.
Jonathan Holder, Chad Green and Dellin Betances each pitched a perfect inning before Chapman’s wild ride.
BEEN A LONG TIME
Chapman was the first Yankees pitcher to walk the first three batters of an inning and not allow a run since Greg Cadaret at Minnesota on Aug. 28, 1992.
Athletics: RHP Kendall Graveman was limping, a day after a line drive off the bat of Gregorius hit his right shin. “Feels a little bit better than I thought it would today,” manager Bob Melvin said. … LHP Ryan Buchter (strained pitching shoulder) may start throwing a sock soon. … RHP Liam Hendriks (strained right groin) is to throw a bullpen session Wednesday.
Yankees: RHP Adam Warren, who hasn’t pitched since April 20 because of a strained back, is to throw his first bullpen session on Monday at Tampa, Florida. RHP Tommy Kahnle (right shoulder tendinitis) threw Saturday and is to travel with Warren on Sunday. … INF Brandon Drury (migraines) wore glasses with yellow lenses Friday at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in an effort to brighten his vision. He had a grand slam and was hitting .320 in 16 rehab games entering Saturday. … LHP Justus Sheffield was removed from his second start at Scranton after 4 2/3 innings Friday night because of left shoulder stiffness and was put on the 7-day DL Saturday.
Luis Severino (5-1, 2.21) starts for New York in Sunday’s series finale and LHP Brett Anderson (0-1, 8.68) for Oakland.
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