Norris Hits 3-Run Shot To Propel A’s To 6-4 Victory over Yankees


June 11, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics catcher Derek Norris (36) high fives teammates after hitting a three run home run against the New York Yankees during the fourth inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Derek Norris hit a three-run homer in the fourth, and the Oakland Athletics went on to win by a final score of 6-4 against the New York Yankees in the first matchup of a three-game series with the most storied franchise in the Majors.

Bartolo Colon took care of business, pitching six solid innings and allowing only three hits against a potent New York lineup to earn the win for the A’s. He got off to a slow start, though, giving up two walks in the first to bring his season total to 1o after two other free bases were given out later in the game.

Sean Doolittle, Jerry Blevins and Ryan Cook closed it out for Oakland to secure the ninth win in a row at O.Co Coliseum.

Coco Crisp put the A’s on the board in the first at-bat of the game, launching an inside fastball to the left field corner to give Oakland an early 1-0 lead. Derek Norris added an RBI double with two outs in the third to make it 2-0, and after consecutive one-out singles by Nate Freiman and Chris Young in the fourth, Norris made contact with a curveball and powered it over the fence in left-center to give the A’s a 5-0 lead.

They’d add one more when Josh Donaldson scored on a wild pitch by Sabathia in the bottom of the sixth, but the Yankees made it interesting in the final two frames.

Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano singled in the eighth against Jerry Blevins to put two men on for Mark Teixeira, who hit a line drive to center field to make it 6-1 with no outs. Kevin Youkilis moved Cano over to third on a flyout for the second out of the inning, and Cano would score when pinch hitter Vernon Wells shot a ball through the left side of the infield to put the score at 6-2 heading into the bottom half of the frame.

The A’s didn’t get any insurance, however, and the Yankees put together a two-out rally in the ninth that endangered Oakland’s recent winning streak in their home ballpark.

Chris Stewart singled with one out and following a Brett Gardner strikeout, Cano knocked a fastball to left field to put men on second and third for Teixeira. Melvin then pulled Cook and handed the ball off to Grant Balfour, who gave up a two-run single on a blooper to right field to make it 6-4. But Balfour would get Travis Hafner to fly out to the warning track in left center in the next at-bat to earn his 34th consecutive save in a row, and the A’s earned their 39th win of the year by a score of 6-4.

It wasn’t all good news for the A’s. Yoenis Cespedes aggravated his left hamstring running out a ground ball in the first inning, and he left the game in the third as a precaution. Oakland will monitor the injury tomorrow, and the left fielder is listed as day-t0-day.

With the win, the A’s are now in a first place tie in the AL West with the Texas Rangers, who lost to the Cleveland Indians 5-2 Tuesday night. They’ll return to action Wednesday evening, with Dan Straily going up against Phil Hughes in the pitching matchup of the second game of the series.