OAKLAND, Calif. -- CC Sabathia always enjoys coming to Oakland, a homecoming for the lefthander who grew up about 35 miles away in Vallejo.
And that enjoyment typically lasts just up until the Yankees' ace takes the mound.
Inexplicably, Sabathia has rarely experienced success here and that trend continued Tuesday night in a 6-4 loss to the A's, who got another standout performance from former Yankee Bartolo Colon.
Trailing 6-2 in the ninth, Mark Teixeira's two-run single cut the deficit to two and brought the tying run to the plate. But Travis Hafner flied out to the warning track in left-center to end it.
Sabathia entered the night having strung together back-to-back good starts but with lousy career numbers in the O.co Coliseum, 4-5 with a 5.02 ERA in 13 starts.
Sabathia (6-5, 4.07) pitched to those numbers last night, allowing six runs and eight hits, including two homers in six innings.
The most critical of those homers was Derek Norris' three-run shot with two outs in the fourth that gave the A's (39-27), who improved to 21-8 over their last 29 games, a 5-0 lead.
"I just felt like everything was flat with no life on the fastball,'' said Sabathia, who has allowed a team-worst 14 home runs. "But it's up to me to go out there and battle and keep us in the game and I couldn't do that today."
Said manager Joe Girardi about Sabathia's inconsistency: "Just mistakes, he made mistakes. You can't make mistakes at this level. If you do, sometimes you're going to get away with them but most times you're not."
Colon entered the night 4-7 with a 6.16 ERA in 16 career appearances against the Yankees. But Colon (8-2) mostly controlled the Yankees (37-27), pitching six shutout innings while allowing three hits.
Coco Crisp led off the A's first by smoking Sabathia's 1-and-0 fastball, which came in at 90-mph, into the seats in left for his eighth homer and a 1-0 Oakland lead.
The decision to start Lyle Overbay in rightfield cost Sabathia a run in the second.
Nate Freiman led off with a single but Sabathia retired two straight. It should have been a third when Norris sent a high fly toward the line in right. Overbay, looking two steps slow traversing this ballpark's notoriously expansive outfield, couldn't catch up in time, the ball landing in front of him, giving Norris an RBI double.
With two on and two outs in the fourth, Norris jumped on Sabathia's 77-mph offspeed first-pitch offering and drilled it to left for his third homer of the season and a 5-0 lead.
Josh Donaldson led off the sixth with a double and went to third on Freiman's sharp grounder that Sabathia helped stop with his left hand, contributing to a 1-4-3 putout. Pitching coach Larry Rothschild and assistant trainer Mark Littlefield came out to check on Sabathia, who threw a wild pitch allowing Donaldson to score, making it 6-0.
Sabathia said his hand was fine but his right index finger could be seen getting wrapped by trainer Steve Donohue after the game.
The Yankees got on the board in the eighth, getting singles from Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano off lefthander Jerry Blevins to start the inning. Teixeira' single brought in Gardner to make it 6-1. Vernon Wells' two-out, pinch-hit single to left brought in Cano to make it 6-2.