The Yankees (5-5) lost Friday’s series opener 5-4 in 11 innings, but got their own extra-inning win Saturday as former Athletic Jason Giambi hit a solo home run in top of the 13th to lift New York to a 4-3 victory.
“It’s just been a battle,” said Giambi, who is batting .200 (8-for-40) with two homers this season. “If I hit the ball hard or hit the ball soft, I can’t seem to find the hole. It was nice to hit the ball hard and get rewarded for it.”
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit his major league-leading seventh home run on Saturday, and has hit safely in all 10 games this season.
New York fell behind after allowing three unearned runs in the first inning, but its pitching staff held Oakland (5-7) scoreless for the final 12 frames. The Athletics also scored three runs in the first but failed to score again on Wednesday, in a 6-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
“It was a promising start and then they pitched well after that,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said after Saturday’s defeat. “We had our shots. It seemed like when we needed the big hit we didn’t get it.”
The Yankees, who had the second-best road record in the AL last season at 47-34, can wrap up their current six-game trip with a 4-2 mark if they win Sunday.
Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.64 ERA) looks to give the New York another strong outing when he makes his third start of the season. The left-hander threw six shutout innings in New York’s 10-1 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday.
The win was his 150th with the Yankees and his first with the club since 2003. He’d spent the last three seasons with the Houston Astros before re-signing with New York in the offseason.
“At this stage in my career, every win is precious,” Pettitte told the team’s official Web site. “You appreciate all of them.”
Pettitte is 8-4 with a 3.18 ERA in 15 career starts against Oakland. He is 3-3 with a 4.31 ERA in eight starts at McAfee Coliseum, but hasn’t won there since Aug. 26, 1997.
Oakland counters with right-hander Rich Harden (1-1, 1.38). Harden allowed just five hits in six innings against the Chicago White Sox on Monday, but two of those hits went for home runs as the A’s lost 4-1.
He threw seven shutout innings in his season-opening victory over Seattle, and opponents are batting just .178 against him this season.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five career starts against New York.
Rodriguez is 4-for-16 with a solo homer and seven strikeouts in his career against Harden, while shortstop Derek Jeter is batting .462 (6-for-13) with two doubles against him.