OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Tanner Roark has been in Oakland long enough already to understand this winning vibe.
Roark is doing his part to keep the Athletics on a roll as the September stretch run approaches, striking out seven without walking a batter over six-plus innings in a 5-3 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday night for a three-game series sweep.
“It shows what these guys in here in the clubhouse and all the coaches are all about,” Roark said. “We’re fighters and we’re not going to give in, we’re going to have fun, we’re going to do the small things great, get runs across the board and try to do our best to put up zeroes.”
Mark Canha hit a two-run single as the A’s immediately jumped on Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka (9-7) on the way to a seventh victory in eight overall.
In less than a week, the A’s have taken down a pair of AL contenders in impressive fashion.
Oakland is on another of its familiar second-half surges, moving a season-best 21 games over .500 at 74-53 having won three of four against first-place Houston and then three straight over the AL East-leading Yankees.
“We can beat anybody. It’s just about bringing this game to the field every day and playing with confidence and doing all the little things well that we’re doing,” Canha said. “The fact that you keep looking at the scoreboard and the Rays keep winning, it just tells you we know we need to play well for five more weeks. There’s no letting up, obviously. This is going to be a dog fight.”
New York’s Gleyber Torres homered twice for his 30th and 31st of the year, a solo shot in the seventh and another in the ninth.
Oakland has won three of Roark’s four starts since he was acquired from Cincinnati. Roark (2-1) won his second straight decision and allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Torres also doubled and singled for the Yankees, who have lost nine of their last 10 and 21 of 28 in Oakland.
“Over the course of a long season you’re going to take one in the mouth, and we just got punched in the mouth right here in Oakland,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Tanaka, making his team-leading 26th start and pitching on an extra day of rest, dug himself an early hole allowing Marcus Semien’s leadoff double in the first, then giving up a pair of walks before an RBI groundout by Matt Olson and Canha’s base hit.
Matt Chapman added an RBI single and Stephen Piscotty drove in a run on a groundout.
Tanaka allowed five runs over six innings, striking out five and walking two.
Joakim Soria surrendered Torres’ two-out drive but finished for his first save in five chances as Liam Hendriks got a break from the ninth inning after a five-out save Wednesday.
ALS AWARENESS NIGHT
Oakland hosted another ALS Awareness Night as a way to honor, among others, Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter and the late mother of Piscotty, Gretchen. She suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a neurological disorder, and died in May 2018 at age 55 — about a year after being diagnosed.
Yankees: OF Giancarlo Stanton, out since June 26 with a sprained right knee, did agility work in right field after doing some light running Wednesday. The hope is he will take batting practice on the field sometime this road trip. … RHP Luis Severino pitched two simulated innings at the team’s complex in Tampa, Florida, as he continues to work back from right rotator cuff inflammation with the goal of pitching in a big league game in September. … RHP David Hale (lower back strain) received a cortisone shot for a left knee problem, interrupting his rehab progress. … OF Brett Gardner was back in the lineup starting at center after he had an ingrown toenail removed Sunday that had bothered him all last week. He missed two games.
Athletics: CF Ramon Laureano (stress reaction in lower right leg) did a series of his signature long throws from center. … LHP Sean Manaea, out all season after shoulder surgery last September, will make at least one more rehab start with Triple-A Las Vegas.
LHP James Paxton (9-6, 4.53 ERA) starts Friday at Dodger Stadium looking to win his fifth straight start when Los Angeles counters with 12-game winner lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The A’s have their second Friday off day of the season before RHP Chris Bassitt (9-5, 3.61) pitches Saturday against the San Francisco Giants opposite LHP Madison Bumgarner (8-8, 3.72).