Russell Martin’s walk-off home run in the 10th inning gave the New York Yankees a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics last night and a one-game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.
The Yankees won their sixth straight game to improve to 87-63 in Major League Baseball’s AL East. The Orioles (86-64) defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-2 to stay one game ahead of the Athletics (85-65) for the top spot in the two-team wild-card race.
At Yankee Stadium, Martin blasted his solo home run on a 0-1 pitch off Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle (1-1).
Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning to score Nick Swisher. The Athletics were scoreless until the ninth, when Brandon Moss hit a home run to right field off closer Rafael Soriano who blew his fourth save in 46 chances.
Derek Jeter singled in the sixth inning to extend his hitting streak to a season high-tying 15 games.
CC Sabathia pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing three hits and striking out 11. David Robertson (2-7) pitched a perfect 10th inning for the win.
At Fenway Park in Boston, catcher Matt Wieters drove in three runs, including the go-ahead score in the sixth inning, as the Orioles tallied their fifth consecutive victory.
Wieters hit a two-run single in the fourth and followed two innings later with a hit to send home Adam Jones. He then scored the Orioles’ fourth run on Mark Reynolds’s single in the sixth.
“Every time they scored, we had an answer and Matt was in the middle of it,” Oriole manager Buck Showalter said in a televised interview.
Pedro Ciriaco hit a run-scoring double in the third and Dustin Pedroia added a one-run single in the fifth for the Red Sox, who are fourth in the five-team AL East, 20 games behind the Yankees.
Miguel Gonzalez (7-4) allowed seven hits and two runs while striking out three in 6 1/3 innings.
“It was great out there,” Gonzalez said in a televised interview. “Eight days off and that’s what happens. Being my first year throwing this many innings, it’s good for me.”
Wieters called Gonzalez “a smart, high IQ pitcher.”
Closer Jim Johnson recorded his 46th save, a franchise season record, surpassing by one the mark set by Randy Myers in 1997. Johnson gave up one hit and struck out one in the ninth.
“It’s nice to come to the ballpark and every game means something,” Johnson said. “We’re seeing Baltimore fans in Boston, I’ve never seen that.”
The Orioles are now 22 games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 1997 season, when they finished 98-64.
Jon Lester (9-13) took his first loss in 21 starts against the Orioles, surrendering four runs on eight hits and striking out three in seven innings. He was 14-0 against the Orioles before last night’s game.