Yankees continue series with A's in the Bronx

CC Sabathia tries to become the first New York Yankees game set with the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium.

There have only been four others who have accomplished it in any three consecutive seasons for the Yankees, the most recent being Vic Raschi from 1948-51. Jack Chesbro actually accomplished the feat in his first three years with the team from 1903-05, but the franchise was then known as the New York Highlanders.

Sabathia snapped a two-start losing streak and improved to 17-7 on the year on Thursday in Minnesota, as he held the Twins to four runs (three earned) and 10 hits in seven innings. He also struck out nine, but saw his earned run average rise to 2.96.

The big left-hander has faced the A's 21 times and is a mere 7-8 against them with a 5.03 ERA.

New York's struggles in series openers continued on Tuesday, as Brandon Allen hit two mammoth solo home runs, Brandon McCarthy hurled 7 2/3 solid innings and Andrew Bailey left the bases loaded in a shaky ninth to send Oakland to a 6-5 win.

McCarthy (7-6) held New York scoreless until Nick Swisher's three-run homer in the eighth and was charged with eight hits and three walks.

He had to wait out the win, however, as Bailey surrendered a solo shot to Jorge Posada in the ninth, then loaded the bases with one out. After Mark Teixeira fouled out meekly to third, Robinson Cano took a payoff pitch at the knees for ball four, forcing in Russell Martin.

With the potential winning run on second, Swisher took the first two pitches off the plate, then drove one to center that Coco Crisp tracked down near the wall to seal Bailey's precarious save, his 17th of the season.

"All I needed to do was get a base hit. I got my pitch and took my chance. I just didn't get it done," Swisher said.

Eric Sogard added a solo homer for the A's, whose previous three-homer game came on May 2 against Texas. The 98-game stretch with two homers or less was an Oakland record.

Bartolo Colon (8-8) dropped back to .500 after yielding five runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings for New York, which fell into a tie with Boston atop the AL East standings with its second loss in three games.

The Yankees also fell to 21-21 in series openers. However, they stand a good chance at getting back on track tonight, as they are 29-12 in the second game of series.

Also in the Yankees favor is the fact that Trevor Cahill will be on the mound for Oakland. Cahill has absolutely been lit up by the Yanks in his young career, going 0-4 against them with a 13.50 ERA. He lasted just two innings the last time he faced them and allowed 10 runs and nine hits.

After winning 18 games last season, Cahill has struggled this year. He lost his third consecutive decision last Thursday against Toronto, as he allowed seven runs and nine hits 5 1/3 frames to fall to 9-12 to go along with a 4.17 ERA.

"Any start for him right now is something to build on," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We saw a couple of good ones mixed in with a couple of off ones. I don't know that the opponent is much of a factor right now; it's just more about getting him consistency and getting on a roll. I know his history against this team hasn't been that great, so him having a good start tomorrow would be good for a number of reasons, especially his confidence."

The Yankees have split their four matchups this season with A's in the Bronx, but are a staggering 14-3 against them there since the start of the 2008 campaign. Overall, the Yanks have won 26 of the 32 meetings in that span.