A's back strong Graveman in win vs. Yanks

April 21st, 2016

NEW YORK -- Kendall Graveman pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning and struck out eight, leading the Athletics to a 5-2 victory over the Yankees on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Graveman limited New York to Didi Gregorius' second-inning solo homer as he led Oakland to its fourth consecutive victory. Carlos Beltran hit an eighth-inning homer for the Yankees, who have lost six of their last seven.

"You gotta think to yourself, solo home runs aren't going to beat you," Graveman said. "I know our offense is going to turn it around, and then we score, put up some runs. That turned things around, and then I was able to put together some quick outs."

Oakland produced all of the runs it needed in a three-run fourth inning against Nathan Eovaldi, who permitted eight hits and struck out seven in a six-inning effort. Billy Burns tied a career high with three hits and Khris Davis broke the game open with a two-run single off Branden Pinder in the eighth.

"I didn't feel like my split was as good as it was the last game. I had to battle," Eovaldi said. "We're going to grind through it as a team and get past it."


Speed matters: Aggressive baserunning paid off for the A's in a three-run fourth that began with speedster Burns stretching a single into a double. Burns didn't get a great read on Chris Coghlan's ensuing double, but he still managed to hustle home to tie the game. Soon enough, Coghlan was racing home for the go-ahead run on a gutsy green light from third-base coach Ron Washington on Reddick's soft single to left. Reddick advanced to second on the throw and ultimately scored on Stephen Vogt's sacrifice fly.

"Wash is going to be aggressive," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's going to err on the aggressive side. We want our guys to know when they come around third that you expect to be sent home. There were some crazy things not only in that inning, but in that game, and it worked out for us."

Showing off the cannon: The A's tested Aaron Hicks' arm twice in their three-run fourth inning, and though they were rewarded with a run when Brian McCann couldn't handle a throw with Coghlan sliding home, they weren't so fortunate the second time. After catching Yonder Alonso's flyout, Hicks uncorked a throw home that was clocked at 105.5 mph by Statcast™, nailing Danny Valencia to complete a double play. It was the fastest throw ever recorded by the system, surpassing Carlos Gomez's 103.1-mph rocket last September. More >

"When you know your ball is not tailing and you've got that nice four-seam going straight, you know you're going to get a solid hop," Hicks said. "I did today."

Settling down: Graveman left the bases loaded in the first inning but needed 29 pitches to escape the jam. The right-hander then faced the minimum in four of the next five frames. Graveman returned for the seventh, but a one-out walk to Chase Headley marked the end of his first career appearance at Yankee Stadium -- which included an unexpected at-bat in the fifth inning, after the A's lost their designated hitter due to an injury to Valencia.

"You never want to throw 30 pitches in an inning, but when you do, if you can throw up a zero somehow you definitely go away from it with positive thinking," said Graveman, who snapped a six-game losing streak dating back to last year. "Even if it is in the first, you have to continue to make meaningful pitches, and every pitch has to have intent, so to get out of that inning the way we did was big and gave me momentum going forward."


The umpires huddled in the home half of the seventh inning as the Yankees challenged an inning-ending double play, with Coghlan fielding a Hicks chopper, tagging Gregorius as he passed and then throwing to first for the second out. After review, it was ruled that the call stands. More >

"It's bad baserunning," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You've got to understand what your run means. You can't run into an out. It turns into an out. We don't get any runs. It's just a bad read."

"I came in and saw [Gregorius] coming. I knew he could run, so it had to be bang bang, and I hit him, and that's kind of the reason why I threw it bad," Coghlan said. "When I tried to grab the ball, I didn't have a good grip, but I knew the runner was going, and I was like, 'I'm just going to chuck it anyway.' And Yonder [Alonso] just made an unbelievable pick. I was like, 'Holy cow.'"


"Look, it's a long season. I have tremendous belief in our offense that we're going to hit. There's no question about it. We do have to tighten up and play good fundamental baseball." -- Alex Rodriguez


With the A's surrendering their DH following Valencia's injury, Graveman hit in the No. 4 spot and became the first pitcher to bat at the current Yankee Stadium, striking out against Eovaldi. The last opposing pitcher to bat in a game at Yankee Stadium was the Rangers' John Wetteland, who knocked a 10th-inning double off Ramiro Mendoza on Aug. 16, 1997.


A's: The A's will conclude their three-game stay in New York with left-hander Rich Hill (1-2, 4.15 ERA) on the mound for the 4:05 p.m. PT finale on Thursday. Hill has completed five innings in only one of his three starts, most recently going just 4 1/3 innings with three runs and nine hits allowed in a loss to the Royals.

Yankees:Luis Severino (0-2, 5.91) will make his third start of the season on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. ET, with the Yankees completing their three-game series against Oakland. Severino is coming off an outing against the Mariners in which he permitted four runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. This will be his first time facing the A's.

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