NEW YORK (AP) - CC Sabathia squandered a late lead, then Rafael Soriano served up a 10th-inning homer. And by the time Coco Crisp was done leveling the Yankees, they had slipped to second place in the AL East.
Crisp homered twice and drove in five runs, going 4 for 4 with a three-run shot in the 10th that sent the Oakland Athletics to a 6-4 victory Wednesday night.
``He's an aggressive hitter, we know that,' New York manager Joe Girardi said. ``He was aggressive tonight and he was the guy who beat us.'
The loss dropped the Yankees a game behind division-leading Boston when the Red Sox finished a 13-2 rout of Texas. New York has a 7 1/2-game cushion in the wild-card race.
No. 9 batter Scott Sizemore was 4 for 4 with a tying double off Sabathia in the eighth and Oakland won at Yankee Stadium for the second consecutive night to clinch a series victory. The A's had lost 10 straight series against New York, an Oakland record for futility against any team.
``It's tough,' Sabathia said. ``Obviously, a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning, you want to shut it down.'
Nick Swisher homered twice and Mark Teixeira also connected for the Yankees, who played without Alex Rodriguez (sprained left thumb) for the second straight game. New York had dropped only two of its previous 20 series since June 10.
Oakland goes for a three-game sweep Thursday afternoon with Rich Harden on the mound against Phil Hughes.
``Feels good,' interim manager Bob Melvin said. ``We win the first two, got to try to get greedy. We'll talk about that a little bit tomorrow, but it's certainly a nice start to what looks to be a tough road trip.'
Trevor Cahill finally held New York in check, Brian Fuentes pitched out of a seventh-inning jam and the A's improved to 7-26 against the Yankees since 2008. The last time Oakland won a series against New York was the summer of 2007, when it took two of three at old Yankee Stadium.
``They have the best players in baseball without a doubt,' Crisp said. ``You go every position, there's no letup. For us to come out here with our young guys and keep our composure in this intense ballpark said a lot.'
Fautino De Los Santos (2-0) struck out two in a perfect ninth. Andrew Bailey earned his 18th save, closing out the Yankees for the second straight night.
Bailey gave up a solo shot with two outs to Swisher, who barely missed a game-winning grand slam against the right-hander Tuesday when the ball was caught at the fence for the final out.
Cliff Pennington and Sizemore singled with one out in the 10th against Soriano (2-2), who had been very effective since returning July 29 from a long stint on the disabled list. Jemile Weeks struck out but Crisp hit the next pitch, a hanging slider, into the second deck in right for his seventh homer.
``Today wasn't my day. I left a couple pitches up,' Soriano said through a translator.
It was the second career multihomer game for Crisp - the other one came on June 18, 2007, with Boston at Atlanta. He went deep from both sides of the plate Wednesday, jumping on the first pitch both times.
Teixeira tied it in the eighth with a long leadoff homer against Grant Balfour.
Looking for his 18th win, Sabathia coughed up a one-run lead in the top half. Sizemore tied it with an RBI double and Crisp gave Oakland a 3-2 lead with an RBI single off David Robertson.
Derek Jeter kept it close by stretching out for Hideki Matsui's low liner to shortstop, starting an unassisted double play that ended the inning.
Sabathia gave up a home run to his second batter, Crisp, but little else until the eighth. The big lefty also benefited from some sharp defense: New York opened the sixth with a pinpoint relay when Weeks tried to stretch a long double.
Swisher put the Yankees ahead 2-1 in the bottom half with an opposite-field homer to left-center off Cahill, who allowed two runs in six-plus innings. The 23-year-old right-hander, an All-Star in 2010, entered 0-4 with a 13.50 ERA in four career starts against New York.
``I felt pretty confident out there. I wasn't afraid to get hit. It couldn't get too much worse than it did last time,' Cahill said.
Swisher also had a three-run shot Tuesday night.
Jeter delivered an RBI single in the third, his fifth hit in five at_bats. That gave the captain 3,055 career hits, tying ex-Yankee Rickey Henderson for 21st place.
NOTES: Harden matched a career high with 11 strikeouts in his most recent outing, a 2-0 victory Friday over Toronto, and is 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four starts against AL East clubs. ... Yankees GM Brian Cashman wouldn't comment on reports that the team claimed Chicago Cubs 1B Carlos Pena off trade waivers. ... After the series finale Thursday, New York plays 17 of its next 23 games on the road. ... Cano extended his hitting streak to a season-high 15 games. ... Two injured relievers, LHPs Pedro Feliciano and Damaso Marte, are scheduled to pitch in a Gulf Coast League game Thursday. ``Are we counting on them? No. Is it possible they get back? Yes,' Girardi said. ``Obviously they're taking steps in the right direction if they're going to throw in a game. But we have to see how they feel after they throw in the game. I mean, it's a pretty big step for both of them.'
The Associated Press News Service
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