OAKLAND (AP) — Derek Norris homered and drove in four runs and Bartolo Colon pitched six scoreless innings to lead the Oakland Athletics to a 6-4 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
Coco Crisp led off the game for Oakland with a homer off CC Sabathia (6-5) before Norris and Colon (8-2) took over to lead the A’s to their eighth win in 11 games.
Sabathia allowed six runs and eight hits in six innings in his homecoming start in front of many fans that came from his hometown of nearby Vallejo to watch him pitch.
The A’s did get some bad news when star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes had to leave the game after the second inning with tightness in his left hamstring. He is day to day. Cespedes appeared to hurt himself running out a groundout in the first inning.
The night almost had a bad ending for Oakland when the Yankees brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning after score twice in the eighth and ninth. But Grant Balfour got his 16th save in as many chances when Travis Hafner flied out to the wall in left-center with a man on first base.
Colon pitched out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first inning and then didn’t allow another runner to reach second base. He allowed three hits and a season-high four walks to improve to 5-0 with a 0.75 ERA over his past five starts.
Norris was coming off an 0-for-13 road trip and was hitless in 14 straight at-bats before delivering the most productive game of his career. He changed his hairdo on the off-day, getting a mullet, and it was followed by success at the plate.
Norris blooped a two-out RBI double down the right-field line in the second that scored Josh Reddick from first when Lyle Overbay misplayed the ball in his fourth career game in right field.
Norris then added the big blow in the fourth inning when he drove a first pitch from Sabathia over the wall in left-center for a three-run homer that made it 5-0 and gave Norris a career-high four RBIs.
The A’s added a run in the sixth when Josh Donaldson doubled and scored on a wild pitch and the A’s ended the New York’s streak of allowing four runs or fewer in eight straight games.
The poor outing left Sabathia with a 5.30 ERA in 14 career starts in Oakland. That’s his highest ERA in any active American League park.
New York scored twice in the eighth off Jerry Blevins and could have had more except right fielder Josh Reddick made a nice running catch to track down a liner toward the line by Travis Hafner.
Mark Teixeira added a two-run single in the ninth before Smith jumped to make the catch to end the game.
The Yankees threatened in the first inning when they took advantage of two rare walks by Colon to load the bases with one out. But Colon escaped the threat with no damage when he got Kevin Youkilis to foul out to first base and Lyle Overbay to foul out to left field.
New York then found itself trailing two pitches into the bottom half when Crisp his third leadoff homer of the season and 11th in his career to make it 1-0.
NOTES: The national anthem was played by the marching band from Solano Middle School, the school Sabathia attended for junior high. ... Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he hopes SS Derek Jeter will be cleared Thursday by doctors to begin full rehab of his injured ankle. ... Dan Straily (3-2, 4.67 ERA) pitches for Oakland in the second game of the series against Phil Hughes (3-4, 4.80). ... Golden State Warriors F Harrison Barnes threw out the first pitch.