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Yankees 4, Athletics 5: Sabathia, Carpenter can't hold on to the lead

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Yankees drop the first game in the four-game series against the Athletics.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Coming on the heels of a three-game sweep against the Royals, the Yankees headed to the West Coast today to start a four-game series against the Athletics. The first half of the game was smooth sailing, but once the Yankees surrendered the lead, they couldn't regain it, despite a late rally.

The Yankees took an early lead thanks to a solo shot by Brian McCann in the second inning. Then they tacked on another run in the fourth. Alex Rodriguez hit a leadoff single, which was followed by a walk to Mark Teixeira. Then came the drama: McCann singled up the middle, and for some reason A-Rod was sent home. He avoided the tag by the catcher, who was on the third base side, but it looked like he missed home plate when he reached down to touch it. A-Rod was originally called out, but the play was challenged and ultimately reversed, allowing the run to score. They scored another run in the fifth with a sac fly from A-Rod after back-to-back singles by Brett Gardner and Chase Headley.

CC Sabathia didn't give up a hit until the third inning, when he gave up three singles in a row (the third dropping about a foot in front of Carlos Beltran). He was able to get out of the jam by eliciting strikeouts from Marcus Semien and Ben Zobrist. The Yankees still held the lead in the fifth, when Sabathia gave up a particularly unlucky home run to Billy Burns, which was just inside the foul pole, and just cleared the wall. The Athletics went on to tie the game in the next inning after a two-run homer by Brett Lawrie to deep left field.

After that, it seemed like Sabathia would be done for the night, but he came back out for the seventh and immediately gave up a single and a walk. In a tie game, with no outs and two runners on, Joe Girardi decided it would be a good idea to put David Carpenter in the game. Sadly, it was not. He gave up a single to load the bases, then walked Zobrist to walk in a run. Billy Butler followed with a sac fly to give the Athletics the 5-3 lead. Since the two runners were inherited, all of the runs were charged to Sabathia, but Carpenter certainly didn't help matters. Chasen Shreve was brought in to get the last out of the inning, which he easily did, making everyone wonder why he didn't come in to begin with. He also pitched a clean eighth inning.

The Yankees tried to make a comeback in the ninth, but it fell just short. With two outs and pinch-hitting for Didi Gregorius, Garrett Jones drew a walk. Gardner followed with an RBI double, but Chase Headley flew out on the track to end the game.

Chris Capuano will face off against Sonny Gray tomorrow night at 10:05 pm EST.

Box score.