A's run out of gas against Yanks
Three-run first frame is only offense in 13-inning loss
OAKLAND -- The Oakland fans at McAfee Coliseum got to see some free baseball again on Saturday against the Yankees, but this game didn't feature nearly as many thrills for the A's as Friday.
The A's lost, 4-3, after reliever Lenny DiNardo allowed a home run to Jason Giambi in the 13th inning in front of another sellout crowd of 35,077. Oakland looked very pedestrian after the first inning and rookie Travis Buck may have stirred up the Yankees with his words and actions after Friday's game.
DiNardo was making just his second appearance this season, and had recorded two scoreless innings before his 3-1 pitch to Giambi was blasted over the right-center-field wall.
"I wanted it to be away," DiNardo said. "The ball was down and got a little too much of the plate, and he was able to extend on it."
Eric Chavez walked to lead off the 13th and the A's had Friday's hero, Buck, at the plate to end the game, but this time the A's rookie struck out looking against Brian Bruney.
After the game, Bruney said that he wasn't pleased with the 23-year-old's actions after scoring the winning run the night before.
"You see a guy slam a helmet in front of you after the game is over last night, [that] makes it a little extra special," Bruney said. "I thought that was a little disrespectful last night. Our guys win with class."
Buck hit a triple off Bruney on Friday and later scored on a Bobby Kielty grounder for the winning run and slammed his helmet to the ground after his biggest moment as a big leaguer so far. After the game, he was quoted as saying: "Knowing [Johnny] Damon doesn't really have that good of a throwing arm, I wanted to test it."
Following Saturday's game, he was told by the media about Bruney's response, and Buck appeared humble.
"I was just having fun," Buck said. "I enjoyed the win. We hadn't hit the ball that well coming into the series. If I disrespected him, there was no intent at all. [Bruney] pitched well last night and pitched well tonight. You [have to] give him credit, he went out there and did his job."
The A's and Yankees have played 25 innings over the past two days and will finish their three-game series on Sunday as Rich Harden takes the ball against Andy Pettitte.
Oakland could have avoided DiNardo's first loss in green and gold, but couldn't come up with a big hit after the first inning. The A's stranded eight runners from the seventh inning to the 13th.
"We had a few chances, and we didn't get the big hit that we need to," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We matched them pitch for pitch until the very end."
The A's best chance to take the lead came in the seventh after the second error from Derek Jeter. Bobby Crosby reached on a bad throw from Jeter and advanced to second on single from Buck. But after Jason Kendall popped out to the pitcher on a bunt attempt, Marco Scutaro and Shannon Stewart were retired to end the threat.
"It was just a situation where [Kendall's] one of the best bunters we have and he got a tough pitch," Geren said.
The sandwich game with the Yankees was very comparable to the A's 6-3 loss on Wednesday against the White Sox. Oakland again scored all of its runs in the first inning, but couldn't squeeze another run across despite three errors from the Yankees and three hits after the first.
The A's took advantage of Jeter's first error when he booted a grounder from Mike Piazza with one out in the first inning. The A's scored three unearned runs behind doubles from Nick Swisher and Crosby and an RBI single from Buck. Crosby had a chance to score the fourth run, but was gunned down at the plate by Cabrera.
A's starter Joe Blanton was unable to get his first career win against the Yankees, but did improve upon his 13.50 ERA against New York.
The righty faced the minimum number of batters through the first four innings and gave up his first run on a homer to Alex Rodriguez over the left-field wall.
Blanton also gave up an RBI single to Melky Cabrera in the inning and gave up the tying run in the seventh after a leadoff walk to Robinson Cano. Blanton retired Josh Phelps and Cabrera, but allowed an RBI double to pinch-hitter Jorge Posada.
Blanton recorded his first quality start of the year by allowing three runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings.
"We got guys on base," Buck said. "We just couldn't do much about it. Joe pitched a good game and he deserved to win."
Ryan Quinn is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.