Tanaka, Yankees tame Athletics, end 4-game skid

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“We made him work some, maybe a little bit more than he’s had to, where his pitch count got up and they had to get him out,” he said. “But you can see why his numbers are the way they are. He’s got a lot of pitches.”

Brett Gardner hit a leadoff homer in the third against Drew Pomeranz (5-3) for a 2-1 lead.

Jacoby Ellsbury almost had a two-run homer for the Yankees in the first. He hit a drive to the top of the right-field wall, hustled around the bases and slid into second.

The umpires, however, ruled it a home run and Ellsbury got up and trotted to the plate and into the dugout. Melvin challenged the call and it was overturned to a double.

Carlos Beltran then struck out to finish the inning. On the disabled list since May 15 because of a bone spur in his right elbow, the star outfielder was activated and went 0 for 3 as the designated hitter.

“I have to find a way to adjust to my role right now,” he said.

Alfonso Soriano broke an 0-for-16 slump with an RBI single in the second, set up when Brian McCann singled and continued to second as the ball skipped past Moss in left field for an error.

NOTES: The A’s have homered in 13 straight games, connecting 23 times in that span. … Tanaka had gone five starts without allowing a homer. … Cespedes was Oakland’s DH. Melvin gave the slugging OF a lighter day after hitting 2 HRs Wednesday night. Melvin also said Cespedes was working through some shoulder issue. … RF Vogt made a nice catch in his first major league start in the outfield. He’s normally a catcher. … Seven veterans of the D-Day invasion were honored at home plate before the game. … There was a pregame moment of silence for former Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer, who died Wednesday at 83. A video tribute before the third inning drew cheers.

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