NEW YORK (AP)—Jack Cust sat at his locker while most of his teammates chowed down at a table in the visitors locker room at Yankee Stadium. He sheepishly admitted to being tired after a rare full day in the field.
“Usually I get taken out late in the game for, I guess, defensive purposes,” he said with a grin.
Cust slugged his way to the finish Sunday, hitting a three-run homer in Oakland’s seven-run second inning against Andy Pettitte and finishing with four RBIs in the Athletics’ 11-5 victory over the slumping New York Yankees.
Dan Haren (10-2) pitched 5 1-3 innings to win his career-best 10th straight decision and improve to 4-0 in seven career starts against the Yankees. Oakland’s lone All-Star allowed a season-high five runs in his shortest outing since he lasted only five innings in a no-decision against New York on April 13.
“I just didn’t have my legs under me today,” said Haren, who had a cold for a few days before his start. “I was just battling, just trying to get through it, and I was fortunate obviously to get all the runs I did.”
Oakland was ranked 13th of 14 teams in the AL in runs scored entering play, but roughed up Pettitte (4-6) on its way to finishing 3-7 on its longest road trip of the season.
“It wasn’t the best road trip but it was a great finish,” manager Bob Geren said. “Two out of three against the Yankees in New York, anybody I think would take that.”
Andy Phillips tied a career high with three hits and Melky Cabrera had two hits for the Yankees, who have lost nine of their last 11 games. At 37-41, this is the latest New York has been under .500 in a season since Sept. 5, 1995, when it was 60-61.
“It seems like every team that’s playing us is playing pretty good,” said Derek Jeter, one of three Yankees selected for the All-Star game. “You try to stay positive but, yeah, it gets frustrating.”
Oakland’s first four batters of the second inning singled, with Kurt Suzuki’s base hit driving in Bobby Crosby to make it 2-0. Pettitte got Shannon Stewart to fly out to right but Mark Ellis followed with a sacrifice fly.
It just got worse for Pettitte from there. Cust hit a three-run drive to right-center for his 14th homer of the season. Eric Chavez reached on a double and Dan Johnson drove a 1-2 pitch out to right for a two-run shot, making it 8-0.
“It happened so quick,” Cust said. “It was just like we had a couple of hits that weren’t exactly crushed and then, you know, we ended up hitting the ball a little harder as we went on. I know the pitch I hit wasn’t where it was supposed to be.”
Johnson’s ninth homer was it for Pettitte, who stood with his hands on his hips and looked at the ground as manager Joe Torre approached the mound. He gave up nine hits and eight runs, seven earned, in his shortest outing since he recorded five outs for the Yankees against the Chicago Cubs on June 8, 2003.
“Obviously, everything was fat today,” Pettitte said.
Ron Villone replaced Pettitte and got Crosby to ground out to end the inning, prompting a sarcastic cheer from the sellout crowd of 54,266.
It was the most runs allowed by Pettitte since he surrendered 10 runs, seven earned, in 4 2-3 innings for Houston against Florida on April 4, 2006.
Phillips singled in a run in the second and another in the fourth to help New York cut it to 8-4. Haren hit Jeter with a pitch to load the bases with two outs in the fourth but Robinson Cano flied out to end the inning.
Jeter snapped an 0-for-10 skid with a run-scoring single in the sixth, but Cust’s seventh-inning RBI double restored Oakland’s four-run lead.
“We managed to make it uncomfortable for them, but not uncomfortable enough,” Torre said.
Cust went 3-for-5 and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games with five homers and 13 RBIs. The A’s finished with 16 hits, with each player in their starting lineup getting at least one and scoring at least one run.
Scott Proctor pitched 1 1-3 shutout innings for the Yankees one day after he burned his personal game equipment on the gravel outside the home dugout following a 7-0 loss to the A’s. He got a mix of boos and cheers when he entered the game in the eighth.
Jeter and third baseman Alex Rodriguez were elected All-Star starters and catcher Jorge Posada was voted in by the players. … The Yankees purchased the contract of right-hander Edwar Ramirez from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and optioned infielder Chris Basak to their top farm club. They transferred right-hander Jeff Karstens (right elbow tendonitis) from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL to make room for Ramirez on the 40-man roster. … Oakland did not commit an error for the seventh straight game and has just three in its last 13 games.