Yankees score four in 13th to tie, then beat A's in 14th
In their recent two-week stretch of good play that allowed them to keep the division lead, the Yankees won in a variety of ways.
Pitchers' duels, shootouts, grabbing the lead early and hanging on, grabbing the lead late and keeping it.
But nothing like Saturday.
Trailing the A's by four runs going into the bottom of the 13th inning Saturday afternoon, the Yankees scored four times to tie it, then won it, 10-9, in the 14th when Eduardo Nuñez hit a two-out bases-loaded grounder that A's first baseman Brandon Moss couldn't handle.
Raul Ibañez's two-run homer, his second home run of the day, off Pat Neshek tied it at 9, sending what was left of the Stadium crowd of 44,026 -- not to mention the Yankees dugout -- into hysterics.
That scene repeated itself in the 14th as the Yankees kept their one-game lead over the Orioles, who won in extra innings in Boston, in the AL East.
Alex Rodriguez appeared as if he won it before Nunez, singling to center with one out. But pinch runner Melky Mesa, making his major league debut, stumbled going around third and completely missed the base, immediately retreating as the crowd groaned. When Robinson Cano grounded into a force play back to the pitcher, it appeared as if the game would go on. But Moss couldn't handle Nunez's grounder for an error and the Yankees pulled off the improbable victory.
Ibañez's role in the victory was shocking. The 40-year-old came into the game in an 0-for-18 slump and was 2-for-45.
Plenty happened in the inning, started by A's lefty Pedro Figueroa before Ibañez tied it.
Ichiro Suzuki led off with his third hit of the day, and Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano each followed with singles to load the bases for Eduardo Nuñez. A's manager brought in righthander Neshek, who uncorked a wild pitch that brought in Ichiro to make it 9-6. Nuñez's subsequent sacrifice fly brought in A-Rod to make it 9-7, setting it up for Ibanez, who crushed a 2-and-2 pitch into the second deck for his 17th homer of the season.