NEW YORK -– The A’s find themselves on a nice little roll, and they’re even getting creative with their route to victory.
They bombarded the Yankees with four homers in Thursday’s 7-3 victory, completing a three-game sweep in the Bronx to stay undefeated on the road and extend their winning streak to five games.
Through the first 15 games, the A’s hardly were a team taking aim for the fences. They entered Thursday tied for the third-fewest homers in the American League with 12.
But they broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh when Khris Davis and Coco Crisp went deep on back-to-back pitches from lefty reliever Chasen Shreve.
Mark Canha, drawing a rare start at first base, lined an opposite field shot to right-center to knot the score 2-2 in the fifth. Chris Coghlan capped the power surge with a towering two-run blast to right in the eighth that made it 6-3.
That made a winner of Rich Hill, who struck out 10 and held the Yankees to three hits over six innings. The A’s have now have their longest winning streak since they took five in a row from June 20-25 of last season.
And though it’s early, this helps put their 9-7 start into perspective: It’s the first time Oakland is two games above .500 since ending the 2014 regular season 88-74.
Starting pitching report
Hill notched 10 strikeouts for the second time in his past three starts, giving him 29 in 19 innings pitched on the season. He made it through six innings, important considering the lanky left-hander failed to complete five in two of his first three outings. The Yankees got little in the way of hard contact against Hill (2-2). He issued two walks in the second, when Aaron Hicks blooped a ball to center that scored Mark Teixeira. In the fourth, Hill hurt himself with an errant pickoff throw that sent Alex Rodriguez from first to third. He came home on Austin Romine’s dribbler to the left side of the mound to give the Yankees a short-lived 2-1 lead.
Hill, who made 14 relief appearances for the Yankees in 2014, came in 0-2 with a 6.14 ERA in 10 career appearances (two starts) against them.
Leading 7-3 in the ninth, A’s manager Bob Melvin was taking no chances in the ninth. After back to back one-out singles off Liam Hendriks, he called on Ryan Madson to close it out for his sixth save in six chances.
At the plate
After notching two singles Wednesday night, Davis took another step toward flushing his bad mojo with his first homer in an A’s uniform. He jumped on Shreve’s first pitch upon entering the game, drilling a solo shot to center to put the A’s ahead for good 3-2 in the seventh. Then the switch-hititng Crisp, who came in just 1-for-7 from the right side this season, turned on the first offering from Shreve (1-1) and cleared the left field wall as boos rained down from the Yankee Stadium crowd.
Davis was in a 2-for-22 rut before his two-hit game Wednesday and he entered Thursday with 20 strikeouts in 13 games overall.
In the field
Yankees left fielder Aaron Hicks, after his much talked-about throw to nail Danny Valencia at home on Wednesday, came up big defensively again, throwing out Jed Lowrie trying to stretch a single into a double and making a spectacular leaping catch of Coghlan’s foul fly along the wall.
The announced crowd was 33,818.
The A’s head north of the border for three games against the Toronto Blue Jays. They’ll send ace Sonny Gray (2-1, 2.33) to the mound for Friday’s opener against Aaron Sanchez (1-0, 1.35). First pitch is 4:07 p.m. On Saturday, the A’s face lefty J.A. Happ (2-0, 1.89) after a string of seeing 12 right-handed starters in 13 games. Sunday’s series finale pits Eric Surkamp (0-1, 3.68) against Marcus Stroman (3-0, 4.13). The final two games start at 10:07 a.m. CSN California will carry the entire series.