Bronx, NY – Russell Martin crushed a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the New York Yankees to a 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a crucial three-game set at Yankee Stadium.
New York held a 1-0 lead entering the ninth, but closer Rafael Soriano gave up a one-out, pinch-hit blast to Brandon Moss to send the game to extra innings.
David Robertson (2-7) then retired the A's in order in the top of the 10th before Martin jumped on the second pitch in the bottom half and launched it into the left-field seats to send the Yankees to their sixth straight victory.
Sean Doolittle (1-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up Martin's solo shot, as Oakland lost for the fourth time in their last five games.
"Our guys scrapped and fought the whole night and then to lose it like that, it's really, really tough," Doolittle admitted.
The Yankees remain one game ahead of Baltimore atop the AL East after the O's downed Boston on Friday. The A's dropped one game behind the Orioles for the first AL wild card slot, but hold a 3 1/2-game lead over the Angels for the final playoff spot.
Both teams got sparkling efforts from their respective starters, as CC Sabathia fanned 11 over eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball for the Yankees. Jarrod Parker gave the A's eight strong innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts.
"I think every win from here on out is going to be the biggest win," Sabathia said. "It just feels good to be a part of it."
Parker yielded his only run in the fourth inning when Curtis Granderson's sacrifice fly scored Nick Swisher, who singled to start the frame.
Sabathia carried a no-hitter into the sixth, but Stephen Drew stroked a leadoff single into center field for Oakland's first hit. The burly left- hander quickly retired the next three A's to end the sixth.
Drew scorched a one-out single in the eighth and Cowgill added a two-out, infield single before Gomes was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Josh Reddick flied out to left field to keep the Yankees in front by a run.
New York shortstop Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a leadoff single in the sixth ... It was Martin's fourth career walk-off home run ... Both teams were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position.