(SportsNetwork.com) - The suddenly-surging Oakland Athletics hope to clinch their first home series win of the season as they take on the New York Yankees in the third stanza of a four-game set at O.co Coliseum.
Sonny Gray paced Oakland on Friday as he limited the Yankees to two runs on four hits over eight strong innings of a 6-2 victory. Brett Lawrie hit a two- run homer for the Athletics, who have won the first two games of the four-game series and five of their last seven overall following a 2-14 stretch.
Catcher Stephen Vogt improved his team-leading average to .324 by going 2- for-3 with two RBI and a walk.
The A's went 5-for-13 with runners in scoring position, while New York went 0- for-3. Oakland will send Jesse Hahn to the hill on Saturday looking for its third straight win over the AL East leaders. Hahn is coming off a shutout of Detroit on Monday, which dipped his ERA down from 4.43 to 3.69. The 6-foot-5 right-hander allowed only four hits to the Tigers, who grounded out 16 times in the contest.
"The way his sinker was going, it wasn't tough to call a game for him today," said Vogt. "He, from inning No. 1, had his sinker going today, he was throwing it with conviction, with confidence. He was some kind of disgusting with his sinker."
The Yankees will counter with Nathan Eovaldi, who is also coming off of one of his best starts of the campaign. Eovaldi allowed the Royals to score only one run over a span of seven-plus innings on Monday in the team's 14-1 win to improve to 4-1.
"I thought he used his curveball effectively. He got some strikeouts with his split. I thought he mixed his pitches really well today," manager Joe Girardi said of Eovaldi, whose 7.01 run-support average is among the highest in the majors. "When he has his offspeed and can throw it for strikes, he's really effective."
Brian McCann has been on a roll, driving in a run in seven consecutive outings. McCann is batting .391 during the span of his seven-game hitting streak and became the first Yankees catcher to homer in four consecutive games since Mike Stanley in 1993 on Friday.
"I'm making small adjustments here and there," McCann said. "Honestly, I feel like I've been swinging the bat well all year. Now I'm kind of getting more lift in my swing and the balls are leaving the ballpark."
New York's Alex Rodriguez enters Saturday's matchup tied with Barry Bonds for second place on the all-time RBI list with 1,996. Rodriguez has never faced Hahn before in his career.
Oakland took four of six from the Yankees last season.