OAKLAND, Calif. — Since the Yankees entered Tuesday night’s game against the A’s leading the majors in runs scored, spotting the hosts a three-run advantage after two innings didn’t set off any alarms.
There appeared to be plenty of time to score and Homer Bailey was on the mound for the A’s.
Nevertheless, Bailey pitched well with the lead and the Yankees opened a nine-game West Coast trip with a 6-2 loss that was witnessed by 21,471 at the dilapidated Oakland Coliseum.
The Yankees’ 10-game AL East lead over the second-place Rays remained intact because the Rays lost to the Mariners. The A’s, however, moved a percentage point ahead of the Rays for the second AL wild-card spot.
Domingo German entered the game leading the majors with 16 wins but gave up three runs in the first when Matt Olson and Mark Canha hit back-to-back homers and another run in the second on Marcus Semien’s two-out double.
German gave up six runs (five earned) and eight hits in 5 ¹/₃ innings to fall to 16-3, losing for the first time since June 7 at Cleveland. He was placed on the injured list the next day with a hip problem. Since returning from the shelf on July 3, German had gone 7-0 in eight starts.
Olson singled off first baseman DJ LeMahieu’s glove to start the sixth and scored from third on Stephen Piscotty’s single to left that Cameron Maybin misplayed into a run-producing error and a 6-1 A’s lead.
Aaron Judge homered for the first time since Aug. 4 starting the eighth and for just the second time since July 19. Judge entered Tuesday night’s game with one homer and eight RBIs in his last 28 games (27 starts).
Before the game Aaron Boone talked about the possibility of eventually altering German’s workload.
That could be accomplished by skipping a start, shortened outings, pushing him back a day or two or limiting the right-hander’s innings during a game.
“There may be a time when we skip him a turn in September or something or it could be when we shorten a couple of his outings,’’ Boone said. “Nothing is concrete as far as that goes but those are things we will kind of talk through. He is going [Tuesday] and I believe the last day in L.A. It’s all systems go but those are the conversations we will have by moving forward.”
Having pitched 121 ¹/₃ innings this year, German is close to exceeding his professional high of 123 ¹/₃ in 2014 when he was in the minor leagues. The 85 ²/₃ innings German threw last year was his major league high.
German got Chris Hermann to fly out starting the fifth inning but he fell to the dirt after delivering the ball and came up shaking his left leg. Trainer Steve Donohue and Boone went to the mound and returned to the dugout with German still in the game.
Semien followed with a line-drive double to left but German caught Robbie Grossman looking for the second out and got Matt Chapman to pop out.
Bailey required 92 pitches to get through five innings with a 4-1 lead thanks in part to the Yankees’ inability to hit in the clutch.
Gleyber Torres popped up with two runners on in the first after Gary Sanchez hit a solo homer. Following a perfect second inning by Homer Bailey, Didi Gregorius whiffed to end the third with runners on first and second. Maybin’s one out single was followed by a Bailey balk in the fourth but Austin Romine grounded out and Mike Tauchman fanned.
Leading, 3-1, after one inning thanks to back-to-back homers in the home half of the frame, the A’s added a run in the second with a two-out, bases-empty single by Hermann, the No. 9 hitter, and Semien’s double to left. Semien rounded second too far and was the third out of the inning.
A one-out walk to Grossman in the first preceded Olson’s two-out homer to right off German’s first pitch. It was Olson’s 26th homer and erased a 1-0 Yankees lead. Mark Canha upped the A’s lead to 3-1 with his 19th homer to right center. It was the 11th time this year the A’s hit back-to-back home runs.
Gary Sanchez homered with two outs and the bases empty in the first inning. It was Sanchez’ 28th of the year and was followed by Gio Urshela’s infield single and Gregorius’ single to left. Torres ended the scoring threat by popping up to shallow right field.