NEW YORK (AP) — Yoenis Cespedes homered twice, Josh Donaldson hit a tiebreaking shot in the seventh inning and the Oakland Athletics overcame a four-run deficit to beat the skidding New York Yankees 7-4 Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Donaldson connected off Jose Ramirez, who was making his major league debut, and added a pair of infield singles. Cespedes also had three hits to help the A’s move a season-best 15 games over .500 at 37-22, the best mark in the American League.
Jacoby Ellsbury had three hits, including an early three-run homer, but the Yankees matched a season worst with their fourth consecutive defeat. They’ve been outscored 21-0 from the seventh inning on during the slide.
An error by Derek Jeter hurt New York, which dropped to 1-5 on a seven-game homestand with its 12th loss in the last 16 at Yankee Stadium.
Jesse Chavez (5-3) hung around for six innings, long enough to get the win when his teammates rallied.
Dan Otero got Brian McCann on a weak grounder with runners at the corners to protect a one-run lead in the seventh. Otero also worked a scoreless eighth and Sean Doolittle got three quick outs for his seventh save, extending his career-best shutout streak to 16 1/3 innings.
Cespedes started Oakland’s comeback with a leadoff homer to center in the fourth. Jed Lowrie hit a deep sacrifice fly in the fifth, and Yankees starter Vidal Nuno was pulled one out shy of qualifying for a win. He left with a 4-2 lead after 92 pitches.
Cespedes hit another leadoff shot in the sixth, this one off Matt Daley barely clearing the short porch in right field. Derek Norris reached on Jeter’s throwing error from shortstop and scored the tying run on Alberto Callaspo’s long sacrifice fly.
Just called up from the minors, Ramirez (0-1) entered in the seventh. He retired his first batter but then gave up Donaldson’s 16th homer on his fifth major league pitch. The drive to left field gave the A’s a 5-4 advantage.
Oakland has gone deep in 12 consecutive games, hitting 22 homers during that span.
The AL West leaders added two insurance runs in the ninth on a hit batter and a sacrifice fly against Wade LeBlanc in his Yankees debut. Oakland is 12-3 against New York since July 19, 2012.
The Yankees (29-29) managed only 10 runs in the previous five games, but finally broke out a bit in the third.
It started with a leadoff walk to Ichiro Suzuki, who went to third on Brett Gardner’s one-out single. Jeter drove in a run with an infield single, and Ellsbury followed with a three-run shot.
Craig Gentry made a sensational catch in left-center to rob Gardner of at least a double in the first.
NOTES: Gentry started in place of CF Coco Crisp, given a night off to rest his nagging neck. ... Oakland has the best road record in the majors at 20-10. ... It was Cespedes’ fourth career multihomer games. The other three came in June last season. ... Yankees DH-OF Alfonso Soriano, hitless in 16 at-bats, did not start. ... LHP CC Sabathia (right knee inflammation) played catch on flat ground. “That’s a sign in the right direction and it’s a step closer to getting on a mound,” manager Joe Girardi said. Sabathia is expected to be out until at least July 1. ... Masahiro Tanaka (8-1, 2.06 ERA) faces Oakland LHP Drew Pomeranz (5-2, 2.37) in the series finale Thursday afternoon. ... The crowd cheered when the huge screen in center field showed the New York Rangers leading the Los Angeles Kings 2-1 after one period in the Stanley Cup finals opener.