Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

One Pitch Hughes Wants Back

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

One Pitch Hughes Wants Back

Article excerpt

OAKLAND, Calif. - The fearless, young and surging Athletics didn't wait until the ninth inning this time.

In the eighth, Brandon Inge crushed Phil Hughes' first pitch over the right field fence for a tie-breaking homer. That, and the sensational pitching of rookie right-hander Jarrod Parker, was enough to carry the A's to a 2-1 victory before 28,142 fans at the Coliseum.

The A's (50-44) have now taken the first three games of this four- game set, all one-run games.

The Yankees (57-37) had just taken their first lead of this entire series in the fourth inning. And it took all of three batters before the A's canceled it out.

Yoenis Cespedes' two-out, solo homer in the bottom of the inning was a monstrous shot that soared over the out-of-town scoreboard and into the concrete bleachers in left.

To that point, Cespedes was 7-for-10 in the series with two home runs.

"The contact he's making is hard contact. He's strong, fast, [he has] bat speed. He's impressive," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the Cuban slugger whom the A's signed in a free agent sweepstakes - one in which the Yankees were on the fringes.

One night earlier, Cespedes singled and scored the winning run off Cody Eppley for the A's major-league leading 10th walk-off victory.

"Well, I think it gives them a lot of confidence that if they're down late in games they're going to come back," Girardi said. "They probably have a feeling of 'keep it close, guys.' "

A sensational leaping catch from second baseman Jemile Weeks in the first (robbing Alex Rodriguez of a hit) and an inning-ending double play off the bat of Russell Martin in the second helped Parker avoid early trouble.

A-Rod led off fourth with an infield hit, advanced to third on a pair of groundouts and scored on Raul Ibanez's ground single up the middle to give the Yankees (57-37) their 1-0 lead.

But that was the last of the Yankees' five hits off Parker (7- 4), who walked one and struck out five.

Hughes (9-8) gave up two runs on four hits in 7 2/3 innings, with two walks and six strikeouts. …

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