OAKLAND (CBS/AP) – A.J. Burnett settled down after an early homer to snap an 11-start winless streak on the road, and Nick Swisher homered against his former team to help the New York Yankees beat the Oakland Athletics for the 10th straight time, 4-2 on Wednesday.
Derek Jeter got his 2,984th hit and Alex Rodriguez drove in a run for the Yankees, who have their longest winning streak against the A’s since winning 14 in a row from 1956-57.
Josh Willingham hit a two-run home run and Gio Gonzalez (5-3) took his first loss since April for Oakland, which was swept by the Yankees in a three-game series and has lost 23 of the last 26 meetings against New York.
Burnett (6-3) had not won a game away from Yankee Stadium since last July in Cleveland, going 0-5 with a 5.64 ERA in his previous 11 road starts. He looked to be on his way to another rough day when Willingham homered in the first inning, but didn’t allow anything else.
Burnett gave up two runs and three hits in seven innings for the fourth straight strong start from New York’s rotation, giving the Yankees a season-long four-game win streak. Burnett allowed only one hit after the first inning — a two-out triple by Coco Crisp in the fifth.
Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless eighth, snaring a line drive to start an inning-ending double play. Mariano Rivera finished for his 14th save in 17 chances and first since May 10. It was Rivera’s 1,002nd career appearance, tying Goose Gossage for 14th place all-time.
The A’s came into the series on a four-game winning streak with their top three starters lined up to face the powerful Yankees. But New York battered Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson and Gonzalez for 18 runs in the three-game sweep.
Gonzalez allowed four runs five hits and four walks in 6 1-3 innings.
For the third straight day, the A’s fell behind before even coming to bat. After allowing two-run homers in the first inning the past two days, Oakland managed to keep the deficit at one this time: Jeter led off with a double — the third straight game he has opened with a hit — and scored on Rodriguez’s two-out double.
That was the first hit allowed by Gonzalez in 22 at-bats with runners in scoring position and two outs.
Oakland responded in the bottom half with a two-run homer of its own. Willingham’s 10th of the season came with two outs and David DeJesus on second, giving the A’s a 2-1 lead.
That ended a stretch of 60 straight innings that Oakland did not hold a lead at the end of a frame against the Yankees.
The lead lasted only until the fourth inning, when Swisher connected for a three-run shot off Gonzalez, one of the players the A’s acquired when they dealt Swisher to the Chicago White Sox three years ago.
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