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Profar, Brown stay red-hot in A's return to Bronx

Anderson grinds for 11th win at site of 2018 AL Wild Card Game
@ladsonbill24
August 31, 2019

NEW YORK -- The Athletics returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since they lost the American League Wild Card Game last October. One thing was clear: The A's didn't let that Wild Card loss haunt them in any way on Friday night. Left-hander Brett Anderson pitched six solid

NEW YORK -- The Athletics returned to Yankee Stadium for the first time since they lost the American League Wild Card Game last October. One thing was clear: The A's didn't let that Wild Card loss haunt them in any way on Friday night.

Left-hander Brett Anderson pitched six solid innings and second baseman Jurickson Profar drove in three runs as the Athletics defeated the Yankees, 8-2, in front of a sellout crowd of 47,265. The Athletics (78-56) pulled within a half-game of the Wild Card-leading Indians and remained a game ahead of the Rays for the second AL Wild Card spot while improving to 4-0 against the Yankees this year.

Box score

"The energy, you can feel it. It's just awesome to be out there. It kind of helps you stay focused," said rookie Seth Brown, who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs off the bench. "It's unbelievable."

"We just believe in each other. We know everybody here has each other's back," Profar said. "It doesn't matter who we play, we just compete."

It was Profar who gave Oakland the lead off CC Sabathia in the second inning when he hit a solo home run into the left-field seats. It was the fifth time this season Profar homered in back-to-back games and his second consecutive game with three RBIs.

"He has been swinging the bat great," manager Bob Melvin said. "He is doing some of his best work -- certainly offensively and swinging the bat better right-handed, too."

Profar said he has been trying to keep everything simple at the plate.

"I try to separate my defense and hitting," Profar said. "Early in the year, I [wasn't separating them] and it was bad."

By the fourth inning, the Yankees had a 2-1 lead against Anderson. Luke Voit scored the go-ahead run on a double-play groundout by Mike Tauchman. But it was all Oakland after that. In the sixth inning, the Athletics scored three runs off reliever Tommy Kahnle. Profar fueled the rally with a two-run double.

And credit goes to Brown, who came in as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning and provided the game-tying hit. Brown also has recorded a hit in seven consecutive at-bats.

"He is living a dream. He is on cloud nine," Anderson said. "What he is doing is phenomenal. He has made an impact right away. Hopefully he will continue to ride this way."

Brown said he feels more comfortable every day.

"You have to stay ready every night," Brown said. "Coming off the bench, I knew I needed to put up a quality at-bat. Coming up there, I was able to get a good pitch to hit [in the sixth inning] and hit it hard."

The A's scored four more runs the rest of the way. Marcus Semien highlighted the scoring with a home run off Nestor Cortes Jr. to lead off the ninth.

As for Anderson, he settled down by the fourth inning, retiring the last seven hitters he faced to pick up his 11th victory of the season. It was remarkable he went that far. Anderson said he was tired after the fourth inning but gutted it out, throwing 56 of his 86 pitches for strikes.

"I just threw it and just hopefully the hitters hit it at somebody," Anderson said. "I'm not going to strike people out. I pitch to contact. ... They last two innings, they hit it at somebody.

"It was a grinding game. My pitch count wasn't super high. You have to make quality pitches and continue to get outs. I gutted it through six. I was mentally and physically exhausted."

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.