Big night all around for Yanks in Oakland

There were so many good things about the Yankees’ 7-0 victory Friday night over the Athletics that it is hard to figure out where to start. Well, not really. Start with starting pitcher David Phelps, who ended a personal four-game losing streak and pushed the Yankees’ winning streak to four games. The victorious tide began after the Yankees’ embarrassing 2-1 loss at Kansas City last Sunday when they managed just one hit in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

Well, the Yankees are 13-for-35 (.371) in clutch situations since then, including 6-for-13 (.462) Friday night in beating the team with the best record in the American League. The Yanks banged out 12 hits – all singles – with six different players driving in runs. Jacoby Ellsbury kept his hitting streak alive at 17 games with Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, Ichiro Suzuki and Brian Roberts collecting two hits apiece.

Phelps and two relievers, Dellin Betances and Jose Ramirez, limited the A’s to merely two hits as the Yankees won in Oakland for the first time in eight games dating back to 2011. Phelps had a no-hitter one out into the fifth inning before Derek Norris singled with one out. The A’s only other hit was a two-out double in the seventh by Jed Lowrie, Phelps’ last batter.

It was an important victory for Phelps, his first in nearly a month since beating the Pirates May 17 at Yankee Stadium. The righthander had lost four consecutive starts since then with a 6.57 ERA and 30 hits allowed in 24 2/3 innings. His season ERA climbed as high as 4.88 but dropped to 4.32 after his splendid effort Friday night.

The Yankees gave Phelps an early lead with two runs in the first inning off Sonny Gray and added a third run the next inning. Phelps made the margin seem huge with his pitching. In the eighth, the Yankees jumped all over lefthander Jeff Francis for four runs and five hits to turn the game into a rout.

One Yankees player who had a rough night was Brendan Ryan. With the Yankees comfortably in front by seven runs entering the ninth inning, manager Joe Girardi sent Ryan up as a pinch hitter for Derek Jeter leading off the inning. This did not sit well with the Coliseum crowd of 36,037, many of whom hung around despite their team getting spanked to watch Jeter get one more time at the plate. Poor Ryan was showered with a loud chorus of boos that had to be shared by Girardi.

It got worse for Ryan. He was hit by pitch from righthander Jim Johnson. Granted, it was a curve that struck Ryan, but it hit him right on the funny bone and caused him much pain. He was able to stay in the game, however, and a postgame x-ray was negative. It was that kind of night for the Yankees when just about everything went right.

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