Javier Vazquez entered Monday’s game as the only Yankees starter with a losing record. Not only did he improve his record to the .500 mark, but he also won for the first time in more than three weeks.
Vazquez limited Oakland to one run over seven innings as New York topped Oakland, 3-1, Monday night at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
New York improved to 51-31 to go 20 games over .500 for the first time this season. Oakland dropped to 1-4 this season against the Yankees.
Vazquez (7-7) allowed one run on three hits over seven innings while striking out two and walking two. He won for the first time since defeating Houston on June 12; however, the Yankees were shutout in two of his last three starts. Vazquez also defeated Oakland on April 20 for his first win of the season. One day after blowing his second save of the season, Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his 19th save.
Ben Sheets (3-8) pitched effectively but suffered the lost. The final score has been 3-1 in both games he has started against the Yankees this season. Sheets allowed three runs on eight hits over 7.1 innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter.
New York opened the scoring with a two out rally in the top of the second. Former Athletic Nick Swisher doubled to right field and scored on an RBI triple by Curtis Granderson. It was Granderson’s first RBI since his game-winning home run at Arizona on June 23. Francisco Cervelli followed with a run-scoring single up the middle to give the Yankees a 2-0 advantage.
Oakland got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third. With one out, Cliff Pennington tripled off the right field wall. He came around to score on Coco Crisp’s sacrifice fly RBI.
New York completed the scoring in the top of the sixth on Mark Teixeira’s 14th home run of the season. He entered the at-bat 1-for-9 in his career against Sheets.
New York and Oakland will resume their three-game series on Tuesday. CC Sabathia (10-3, 3.33) will start for the Yankees, while the Athletics will counter with Trevor Cahill (8-2, 2.74). First pitch is set for 10:05 p.m. ET.