NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Yankees lived up to expectations, even trailing by four runs.
Unfortunately for Oakland, the Athletics also played to pattern.
Two catcher’s interference calls, a hit batter and a walk sparked a bizarre six-run seventh inning highlighted by Josh Donaldson's go-ahead, two-run double that lifted best-in-the-majors New York over big-league-worst Oakland 9-5 Monday night.
“We've done it a lot of different ways this year,” Donaldson said after the Yankees' major league-high 23rd come-from-behind win. “I think that was a first for me.”
Following a comeback against Tampa Bay and two vs. Houston, the Yankees for the first time in their history overcame three-run deficits for wins four times in a six-game span, according to STATS.
Coming off a series in Kansas City that ended with Oakland's first back-to-back wins in a month, the A's built a 5-1 lead against Jordan Montgomery behind Elvis Andrus’ tiebreaking, three-run double in a five-run third inning.
Giancarlo Stanton’s fourth-inning home run and Aaron Judge’s fifth-inning RBI single after DJ LeMahieu's stolen base started the comeback against Paul Blackburn. Oakland went to the middle of its bullpen in the sixth after using closer Lou Trivino and setup man Zach Jackson the previous two days.
“Knowing they probably have a couple of their high-leverage guys down,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, “it was probably going to be a little bit of a challenge for them to piece it together there at the end.”
With Oakland ahead 5-3, LeMahieu walked against Adam Oller with one out in the seventh. Judge hit a grounder to third, perhaps hard enough for a double play, but plate umpire Manny Gonzalez immediately signaled interference on catcher Sean Murphy.
A.J. Puk (1-1) hit Anthony Rizzo on the right elbow with his first pitch, loading the bases, and when Stanton fouled off a 1-0 pitch, Boone asked for a video review that led to another interference call on Murphy. The previous time a big league team got two catcher’s interference calls in an inning involved Judge and Stanton, with Baltimore’s Pedro Severino charged on July 29, 2020.
“That’s a terrible mistake, terrible mistakes. I feel bad for my pitchers,” said Murphy, a 2021 Gold Glove catcher. “Too close. Those are big guys. I got to know they have long swings. I got to back up."
Coming off a four-game split with AL West leader Houston, New York improved to 54-20 while Oakland is just 25-50 and has lost 21 of its last 25.
“Coming off a huge series like that,” Rizzo said, “it could have been easy for Monty to give up five there and us roll over, and that's not going to happen.”
Albert Abreu (1-0) struck out four in 2 1/3 hitless innings for his first win since returning to the Yankees, who claimed him off waivers from Kansas City on June 21.
“I had lost my confidence,” Abreu said through a translator. “Just walking into the stadium here, walking through those doors, I felt a rush of energy, positive energy, and it just let me know this is where I belong.”
While the Yankees lead the majors in scoring and home runs, Oakland is 29th in both and is last in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. The ERA of its bullpen rose to 4.57, 26th in the majors.
Oakland tied it in the third when Ramón Laureano's drive with two on hit the top of the 8-foot, 5-inch wall in left and bounced back into the field. Christian Bethancourt, who started on first, jogged to third and failed to score.
Andrus put the A’s ahead 4-1, improving to .325 with 115 RBIs in 151 bases-loaded at-bats and scored on Sheldon Neuse’s single as Oakland tied its season high with a five-run inning.
Montgomery gave up all five runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
“I’m still sick about the third inning,” he said.
Rizzo ended an 0-for-19 slide in the first, reaching 20 home runs for the ninth season with a solo shot that gave him 50 RBIs. He said his arm went numb when he was hit by Puk's 95 mph pitch but felt like he would be able to play Tuesday. ... Stanton’s homer was his 18th. He is in a 5-for-44 slide, but all five hits have been home runs.
Joey Gallo is hitless in 25 at-bats, dropping his average to .169.
Athletics: OF Jonah Bride was out of the starting lineup, one day after hurting his right shoulder and cutting his nose during a collision with Chad Pinder. ... OF Stephen Piscotty, sidelined since May 6 by strained left calf, will rejoin the team Tuesday and could be activated by Wednesday’s series finale.
Yankees: 2B Gleyber Torres’ sprained right ankle was doing fine, Boone said, but Torres likely won’t swing a bat until Wednesday after getting a cortisone injection Monday in his sore right wrist. ... SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa was out of the starting lineup after bruising a nail while successfully bunting in the 10th inning Sunday. ... LHP Aroldis Chapman (left Achilles tendinitis) is to make a third minor league rehabilitation appearance, on Tuesday for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, then will be activated.
LHP JP Sears (2-0, 0.00) will be recalled from Scranton to make his second big league start on Tuesday night. Sears is 1-1 with a 1.83 ERA in eight starts and two relief appearances at Triple-A this year. Oakland RHP Frankie Montas (3-7, 3.21) is being scouted by teams ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline.
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Ronald Blum, The Associated Press