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Yankees complete sweep of A's

The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. - Although the Yankees didn't mash the ball around the Coliseum as they had in winning the first two games this weekend, they didn't need to this time.

Hiroki Kuroda did most of the work, pitching eight innings in the Yankees' 2-0 victory over the A's on Sunday, completing the sweep.

"I think it's important because you are going to have to win some of these games when you don't hit and run into pitchers that are outstanding," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

After scoring 15 runs and hitting six homers in the first two games of the series, the Yankees got their runs on a homer by Andruw Jones and the second double of the game by Mark Teixeira, who has nine hits in his past four games.

The Yankees have won five in a row for the first time this season.

"We haven't had a long streak yet," Girardi said. "We're going to see some tough pitching as we move on. We'll take it one game at a time. We're playing better. I still don't think we've hit on all cylinders, but we're playing better and wining games and that's the most important thing."

Kuroda dominated the A's, allowing just four singles. Jemile Weeks led off the game with a hit, but he was caught stealing, and the A's didn't have another base runner until Seth Smith's hit leading off the fifth.

The A's best rally came in the seventh, when they had runners at the corners with one out, but Kila Ka'aihue struck out and Josh Donaldson hit a flyout to right.

Kuroda was quick to credit catcher Chris Stewart, who played because Russell Martin is day-to-day with a stiff neck, for helping guide him through the seventh. Stewart said the game plan all along was to throw strikes to the A's hitters, who normally try to make a pitcher work. Kuroda needed just 104 pitches to get through eight innings.

"Instead of picking and choosing where we wanted to spot the ball, we were really aggressive and it worked out well," Stewart said.

Kuroda added a perfect eighth, and then Rafael Soriano worked the ninth, converting his fifth save in five tries since replacing injured Mariano Rivera.

Meanwhile, A's rookie starter Tommy Milone pitched well in his first time facing the dangerous Yankees lineup. Milone was in trouble early, but worked his way out of it and lasted into the seventh.

Derek Jeter led off the game with a single and then Curtis Granderson walked, putting two on with no outs for Teixeira, who had three homers in the first two games of the series. But Milone got Teixeira on a foul out. Alex Rodriguez then singled to load the bases for Robinson Cano. Milone got both Cano and Nick Swisher on popouts to shortstop, with Swisher angrily flinging his bat after his swing.

Milone eventually settled down and retired 13 of 14 hitters before Granderson's two-out single in the seventh. Teixeira followed that with a double off the right-field wall, driving in the Yankees' second run and chasing Milone out of the game.

"He pitched great," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Jones hits a home run off him on a first pitch and really that's all they got. Not even too many great swings after that until Teixeira hits the ball in the gap. (He) pitched the way we've seen him all year."

Ryan Cook then retired Rodriguez. That stretched Cook's season-opening scoreless-innings streak to 23, an Oakland record.

NOTES: Melvin said it doesn't look likely that Manny Ramirez will be ready to join the A's on Wednesday, the first day that he's eligible after serving his 50-game suspension... Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes (wrist) will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Sacramento on Monday... The A's recalled right-hander Andrew Carignan from Triple-A Sacramento and optioned right-hander Graham Godfrey... Coco Crisp stole two bases, stretching his streak to 29 in a row without being caught, dating to last year. That breaks the Oakland record of 28 set by Stan Javier in 1995... Jeter collected his 3,155th hit to pass George Brett and move into 14th on the all-time list. "He's been the backbone of this organization for a long, long time and when a guy like that passes you, I'd like to shake his hand and look him in the eye and say congratulations," Brett said in a statement released by the Yankees.
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