'Pen, miscues cost A's against Yanks
Mazzaro solid, but five-run sixth, four errors lead to loss
OAKLAND -- Vin Mazzaro's second start against the team he grew up rooting for went better than his first.
After allowing six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings at Yankee Stadium on July 23, the Hackensack, N.J., native got out of a pair of bases-loaded jams to hold New York to two runs (one earned) over five innings.
It's the next inning that was the problem.
The Yankees got to Jay Marshall and Santiago Casilla for five runs in the sixth en route to a 7-2 win over the A's on Tuesday night.
"The bullpen has been used very heavily," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We needed someone to step up in the middle innings, and we didn't get that tonight."
New York sent 10 to the plate in the sixth. Nick Swisher hit a one-out double to get things going. Marshall hit Melky Cabrera with a pitch, then Derek Jeter singled home Swisher. Johnny Damon followed with a soft double to left to score Cabrera, move Jeter to third and chase Marshall from the game.
"His command wasn't there," Geren said of Marshall. "He's a young pitcher. He'll get more opportunities. Today just wasn't his day."
After intentionally walking Mark Teixeira, Casilla walked Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded. Hideki Matsui delivered an RBI single, then Jorge Posada scored Teixeira with a sacrifice fly to center. Robinson Cano reached on a fielder's choice, but Rodriguez was caught off third, bringing the inning to a close.
Mazzaro, meanwhile, allowed six hits and struck out two. He's 2-0 with a 3.52 ERA (six earned runs in 15 1/3 innings) over his past three starts.
"I felt pretty good out there," Mazzaro said. "I had some long at-bats, got my pitch count up a bit. ... I was able to get the ground ball when I needed it."
"He battled well," Geren said. "He pitched inside pretty well. They're a patient lineup. They don't swing at bad pitches. If you tell me he's going to give up two [runs] in five [innings] before the game, that's a good outing."
The A's and Yankees wasted little time in getting tensions high.
After Mazzaro plunked Rodriguez in the top of the first, CC Sabathia threw behind Kurt Suzuki in the bottom half. Both benches were warned.
Suzuki then gave a warning of his own. The A's backstop deposited Sabathia's next offering in the left-field bleachers, giving Oakland the early 1-0 lead.
It's the second time this month Suzuki has hit a home run after being thrown at. On Aug. 5, Suzuki was plunked by Rangers starter Vicente Padilla, then homered in his next at-bat.
"He's a very aggressive hitter," Geren said. "Sometimes a spark like that can get your concentration up a level."
The Yankees tied things up in the second. Cabrera hit a two-out double, then scored when Adam Kennedy couldn't come up with Jeter's shot at third base.
Tommy Everidge, entering the game in a 4-for-29 (.138) funk, hit a shot to deep left in the bottom of the frame to regain the lead for Oakland, 2-1.
The lead, once again, was short-lived. Rodriguez singled to start the third inning, took second on a Mazzaro wild pitch, then advanced to third on a groundout by Matsui.
Jorge Posada then sent a fly ball to deep left. Scott Hairston misread it off the bat, and the ball landed on the left-field warning track, hopping the fence for a ground-rule double to send Rodriguez home and tie the game at 2.
"He'll probably catch that more times than not," Geren said.
Mazzaro, who loaded the bases in the first, got himself into trouble again in the fourth. Swisher reached on an error by Nomar Garciaparra at first. Jeter singled, then Damon walked to load the bases with one out.
After a quick mound visit, Mazzaro got Teixeira to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the threat.
The A's then let a bases-loaded situation of their own get away. Garciaparra followed Hairston's one-out single with a double, putting runners on second and third. After Mark Ellis lined to Swisher in right, Sabathia walked Everidge intentionally. The lefty got Ryan Sweeney to ground out to third to leave them loaded.
Sabathia allowed five hits in eight innings, recording seven strikeouts to improve to 14-7.
"He was very good tonight," Geren said. "His fastball was hitting 97 [mph], his breaking ball was very sharp. That's why he's one of the best guys in the game. Sometimes you've just got to tip your cap."
Ellis saw his 52-game errorless streak come to a close when he let one get by in the seventh. The A's committed four errors, but only allowed one unearned run.
"It was kind of a strange night," Geren said. "Ellis is one of the best ever over there."
Rajai Davis was 0-for-4, snapping his career-best 12-game hitting streak.
Adam Loberstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.