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Bay breeze: Yanks sweep A's, win 5th in row

May 22, 2016

OAKLAND -- A two-run sixth inning and home runs from Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury propelled the Yankees to a 5-4 win and a sweep of the A's Sunday at the Coliseum.New York won its fifth game in a row and has won eight of its last 10. It took

OAKLAND -- A two-run sixth inning and home runs from Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury propelled the Yankees to a 5-4 win and a sweep of the A's Sunday at the Coliseum.
New York won its fifth game in a row and has won eight of its last 10. It took all four games from Oakland, marking the first time the A's were swept at home in a four-game series since April 26-29, 1999 against the Indians.
"We just needed to play better baseball," McCann said. "We needed better situational hitting, better defense, better pitching. We're getting that. We're happy where we're at."
The Yankees tagged A's starter Jesse Hahn for four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up solo homers to McCann in the second and Ellsbury in the third before putting two runners on in the sixth inning. Hahn was lifted with a 3-2 lead in favor of John Axford, who gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Mark Teixeira and Starlin Castro, giving New York a 4-3 lead.

Yankees starter Michael Pineda, who entered with a 6.60 ERA and winless in his last seven starts, earned his second win, allowing three runs over six innings while striking out six. New York tacked on a run in the seventh on a two-out RBI double by Carlos Beltran off Sean Doolittle.
"Today I went to the mound really positive," Pineda said. "The team is winning here the first three games and I said, 'I want to do my best, give an opportunity to my team to score and win the game.'"
The A's rallied for one run in the eighth on an RBI from Billy Butler, but stranded two runners to end the inning.

Yanks strike back: Trailing by a run in the sixth, the Yankees chased Hahn and grabbed the lead as Axford struggled to record the final out of the inning. Teixeira snapped an 0-for-19 skid by legging out a game-tying single into the shift, fielded in shallow right field by second baseman Chris Coghlan. Castro followed with a line-drive single to left-center, restoring New York's lead.
"You're always happy to get a hit and drive in a run," Teixeira said. "They're always [shifting] in right field, so when you hit a ball to right field, you never know. I knew I had a good chance to beat it out even if he made a great play because he was so deep out there."

Rally falls flat: Oakland put itself in strong position for a late rally thanks to two Yankees miscues. Didi Gregorius and Castro committed back-to-back errors, putting runners on the corners with no outs for Andrew Miller as the heart of the A's order was due up. But Danny Valencia struck out, pinch-hitters Butler and Khris Davis both grounded out to third, and the A's managed only one run.
"It doesn't feel good," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "But we continued to battle at the end. They have three guys coming in on their end who are going to be tough to score upon. We put some good at-bats together. We were close in the eighth."

Pineda survives two-out trouble: The Yankees have worked on helping Pineda finish off innings and hitters, particularly from the stretch position. He fell into his old habits in the fifth inning, serving up Vogt's two-run, two-out double on an 0-1 pitch. After a visit from pitching coach Larry Rothschild, Pineda clamped the damage and worked a perfect sixth before handing the game over to the bullpen. More >
"He had his fastball. He repeated some really good angles on it; hit some really good spots with it," Rothschild said. "The slider overall was pretty good. Still not as consistent as I'd like it to be, but it's getting there."

Vogt volts: The A's briefly took back the lead in bottom of the fifth after a two-out, two-RBI double from Stephen Vogt. The catcher entered Sunday hitting just .196 over his last 13 games and was without an extra-base hit during that stretch. But he took a Pineda offering the other way into the left field corner, scoring Jake Smolinski and Billy Burns.
Hahn has allowed five homers in four starts (24 1/3 innings), the same amount of home runs he allowed in 16 starts (96 2/3 innings) last year.
Yankees: The Yankees will enjoy an off-day on Monday before opening a three-game series against the Blue Jays on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (4-2, 4.44 ERA) will draw the start against R.A. Dickey, with the Yankees intending to activate designated hitter Alex Rodriguez from the disabled list.
Athletics: The A's travel to Seattle to begin a three-game series with the Mariners on Monday. Rich Hill, who is 6-3 with a 2.54 ERA this season, takes the mound. Hill hasn't allowed more than four hits in any of his last six starts, and has 59 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings this season.
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Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for based in Oakland.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.