For a quick half inning, it looked like the New York Yankees' offensive woes might have been behind them.
But the spurt of offensive production turned out to be more of a mirage than anything sustainable. And after the Bronx Bombers turned in four runs in the third inning, they went quietly the rest of the night for their fourth straight loss.
Jesse Chavez went six strong inning for the Athletics - only struggling during that third inning when he allowed successive hits to the first four batters in the New York lineup. The major blow came from center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, when he took a slider deep over the right-center field fence for a three-run home run. But the emerging star, Chavez, battled through the third and went on to throw three more shutout innings to keep his club in it. And the A's bats didn't stay down for long.
The highest-scoring offense in the big's scored in the next four consecutive innings to take a 5-4 lead, highlighted by a pair of solo home runs from Yoenis Cespedes. While one of Cespedes' shots went to deep center, the other came at the expense of the short Yankee Stadium right field fence. Oakland tacked on two more runs in the ninth to seal the deal for a 7-4 win. They will have a chance to sweep the Yanks Thursday afternoon.
The Yankees will have to answer more questions about their scuffling offense after another night of next to no offensive production when you consider 75 percent of their scoring came on one swing from Ellsbury. The 27-time World Champions will hope the expected return of Carlos Beltran for game three ignites an offense that has been unusually flat as of late. New York has not mustered more than four runs in a game since last Wednesday when it scored seven against Shelby Miller and the St. Louis Cardinals.
They will have to do it against a pretty good pitcher in Drew Pomeranz. After entering the league as a highly-touted prospect out of Mississippi, Pomeranz failed in stints with the Rockies and Indians' systems. But, (surprise surprise) he has found a nice home with Billy Beane and the Oakland Athletics. And he enters Thursday's start with an ERA under three.
While Pomeranz might be tough on the Yankees' lefties, the home side might not have to score much to get a win. New York has Masahiro Tanaka going in the matinee. He brings his impressive 8-1 record and 2.06 ERA to Yankee Stadium for one of his toughest tests in America.