NEW YORK (AP) - Sean Doolittle had a pretty long list of people he felt he let down.
Doolittle gave up a home run to Russell Martin an inning after pinch-hitter Brandon Moss connected to tie it in the ninth on Friday night, and the Oakland Athletics dropped a game back for the top AL wild-card spot with a 2-1 loss to the New York Yankees.
``It's really frustrating,' Doolittle said. ``(Jarrod Parker) did such an unbelievable job going toe-to-toe with Sabathia. Moss hits the pinch-hit home run to tie the game up. Our guys scrapping the whole night and then to lose it like that. It's really, really tough.'
Their third loss in four games on a difficult road trip that began in Detroit and ends in Texas next week sent the A's into the second wild-card spot, behind Baltimore, which won at Boston 4-2. Winners of six in a row, the Yankees remained a game ahead of the Orioles in the AL East.
Moss hit a towering home run to right field with one out in the ninth off Rafael Soriano to spoil a dominant three-hit outing for CC Sabathia to tie it 1-all, stunning the boisterous crowd of 40,759 into silence.
Parker was in line for a loss despite matching Sabathia for eight innings. He gave up six hits and struck out seven in his first start at Yankee Stadium.
``I'll tell you what, it was a well-played game,' manager Bob Melvin said. We played great and so did they. Both starters were terrific. It's too bad.'
Curtis Granderson had a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning off Parker and Ichiro Suzuki continued his torrid pace with two more hits - one getting caught in Parker's jersey.
``I tried to keep everything simple and don't overdo it,' Parker said. ``I tried to do that tonight and did a pretty good job of it.'
The Yankees lost four-straight one-run games in Oakland in mid-July that began a summer swoon in which they blew a 10-game division lead. Martin's second walk-off homer this season gave the Yankees their 11th win in 15 games.
``You can feel that playoff weather coming,' Martin said. ``I like it. I enjoy it.'
David Robertson (2-7) pitched a perfect 10th for the victory. Doolittle (1-1) pitched the ninth, too.
The catcher threw his helmet almost all the way to first base as he approached home then was engulfed by his teammates as he stepped on home plate.
``Right off the bat I knew it was gone,' Sabathia said. ``He called a great game tonight and kept the guys off-balance and it worked out.'
Any questions about Parker being nervous in his first start in the Bronx were dismissed right away with an eight pitch inning. He didn't give up a hit until he lost Suzuki's bouncer back to the mound with one out in the third inning in his jersey. Parker grimaced in frustration as he failed to pull the ball out of his green and gold top.
``It got in there and I knew it was in there and then I had doubts once I was digging I couldn't find it,' Parker said, ``so actually I kind of gave up on it.'
The hit was Suzuki's 10th in his last 13 at_bats. Suzuki also had a hit in the sixth but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double.
The Yankees scored in the fourth when Nick Swisher led off with a more traditional hit, a lined single to right field. Alex Rodriguez followed with a sharp single to center field. Granderson then hit a sacrifice fly.
Sabathia's performance had become one of the biggest question marks in the Yankees rotation the past several weeks. The big lefty was 0-3 in his last four starts and he gave up leads in each outing. After two stints on the disabled list, his velocity was down but he insisted he was OK. Manager Joe Girardi said Sabathia was struggling with the command of his sinker and changeup.
He quickly put that to rest by striking out the side in the first with three breaking pitches. His velocity went up as the innings went by, ending the sixth by blowing a 96 mph a fastball past Jonny Gomes.
``I was just trying not to overthrow. I felt pretty good coming out of the bullpen,' Sabathia said. ``I just wanted to make sure I kept my delivery together and make sure I commanded the ball. The velocity will come and go so it's up to me to make pitches.'
After a walk to Gomes with one out in the first, Sabathia retired 14 in a row before Stephen Drew singled leading off the sixth.
Sabathia gave up another hit to Drew with one out in the eighth. With two outs, Collin Cowgill beat out an infield single and Sabathia grazed Gomes with a pitch to load the bases.
Pitching coach Larry Rothschild visited the mound as Robertson warmed up in the bullpen. But Sabathia remained and got J.J. Reddick to fly out to left field on the first pitch of the at-bat, ending the inning.
The A's lead the majors in striking out and they fanned 11 times while walking twice against Sabathia.
NOTES: Oakland LHP Jordan Norberto (shoulder tendinitis), out since Aug. 18, is close to playing catch. ... INF Eric Sogard (high ankle sprain) is doing some baseball activity but Melvin doesn't see him as an option on the remainder of the road trip. ... Oakland's LHP Travis Blackley (5-3) faces the Yankees' Ivan Nova (12-7) Saturday afternoon.
The Associated Press News Service
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