- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 8, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - The last thing the New York Yankees expect to see with All-Star reliever Dellin Betances on the mound is a ball soaring over the fence.

That’s why the past few days have been so stunning.

Brett Lawrie hit a leadoff homer in the 10th inning on an 0-2 breaking ball from Betances, sending the Oakland Athletics past the Yankees 4-3 Tuesday night for their seventh straight road win.

“It just doesn’t happen very often,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It happened tonight.”

Billy Butler launched a tying shot off Chasen Shreve in the sixth, and Tyler Clippard whiffed slugger Mark Teixeira with two on for the final out as the A’s improved to 1-6 in extra innings. They had been the only major league team without a win after the ninth.

Brian McCann, Garrett Jones and Didi Gregorius had RBI singles for New York.

Oakland has won 12 of 15 meetings with the Yankees and 18 of the last 24. This one came thanks to Lawrie, who struck out his first three times up but kept in mind that Betances throws more curves than fastballs.

“Really bad pitch,” Betances said. “Right over the middle of the plate. That’s a strike one pitch, not 0-2.”

Lawrie pulled his drive just inside the left-field foul pole for his eighth home run. Betances (5-2) snapped his head and shouted into his glove after giving up home runs in consecutive outings for the first time in his career.

“When you’re ahead in the count, you have to put guys away. I left that pitch over the plate and he obviously crushed it,” Betances said. “Last time I was fortunate that we won the game. Today we weren’t able to do that. Just a bad pitch.”

Filling in for injured closer Andrew Miller, the right-hander served up a tying drive in the ninth to Tampa Bay rookie Steven Souza Jr. on Saturday. Before that, Betances went 54 appearances without yielding a long ball.

Prior to Lawrie’s big swing, batters were 0 for 15 with 11 strikeouts on an 0-2 count against Betances this year.

“I just stuck with the curveball, caught it out front and yeah, it stayed fair. It was great,” Lawrie said.

Sonny Gray threw seven gritty innings for the A’s in his return from an illness that forced him to skip a start.

One day after he was selected to his first All-Star team, the diminutive right-hander gave up two runs in the first but settled in after that. He allowed three runs and six hits overall, lasting 110 pitches during his first career start at Yankee Stadium.

Pitching for the first time since June 25, Gray began the day leading the AL with a 2.09 ERA. He was hospitalized last week due to gastroenteritis caused by a severe case of salmonella.

Drew Pomeranz (3-3) pitched two perfect innings, and Clippard got three outs against his former team to earn his 16th save in 18 attempts.

Girardi had a quick hook for starter Nathan Eovaldi with a 3-2 lead and one out in the sixth. The move quickly backfired.

The left-handed Shreve struck out Josh Reddick, but the right-handed Butler homered to left field on the next pitch.

“Reddick had hit him pretty hard and I had a fresh bullpen,” Girardi explained.

After that, New York relievers retired 10 straight batters before Lawrie connected.

Reddick and All-Star catcher Stephen Vogt delivered run-scoring singles off Eovaldi.


Oakland improved to 7-21 in one-run games. … A’s pitchers did not permit an extra-base hit. … Oakland is 4-1 against the Yankees this year, clinching the season series.


Yankees: The team plans to activate Miller and CF Jacoby Ellsbury from the disabled list Wednesday. Miller has been sidelined since June 10 with a strained left forearm, while Ellsbury has been out since May 20 with a sprained right knee.


Athletics: LHP Scott Kazmir (5-5, 2.56 ERA) pitches Wednesday night in the middle game of the series.

Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (3-8, 5.59) starts against his hometown team on eight days’ rest. New York used a pair of off days on the schedule to push back Sabathia three days so he could work on some pitching problems between outings. The Bay Area native is 8-11 with a 4.75 ERA in 28 games against the A’s.

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