Contreras was tagged early. He gave up a two-run homer in the first to Eric Chavez, and another dinger to Scott Hatteberg two batters later for a quick 3-0 Oakland lead... New York made it 3-1 in the third on an Alex Rodriguez RBI single, but Oakland scored four more in the bottom of the frame - including a very odd play - that ended Contreras' night. The odd play occurred with Bobby Crosby batting and runners at the corners and one out. Crosby struck out, but Jermaine Dye was heading home with the pitch. Jorge Posada threw to third to catch Dye on the way back and a rundown began. Dye started for home, Rodriguez threw to Posada, who chased Dye back, but on the way Dye dropped to the ground and Posada fell over him, missing the tag. Dye scampered home and scored when Posada's throw ricocheted off his arm, but Erubiel Durazo was caught trying to score to end the inning...
The Yankees began their comeback in the fourth, scoring two on a RBI double by Enrique Wilson... Chavez' second homerun, a solo shot in the fifth, made it 8-3... The Yankees, who had been threatening all night, finally got to Mark Mulder in the seventh as A-Rod hit a three-run homerun to deep left-centerfield to cut the lead to 8-6. Mulder walked Jason Giambi and then exited the game in favor of submariner Chad Bradford. Bradford walked Gary Sheffield and Posada and was removed from the game for Ricardo Rincon. Rincon struck out Hideki Matsui, but Ruben Sierra ripped a double down the left field line to clear the bases and give the Yanks a 9-8 lead. As Sierra rounded first however, he pulled up lame and came out of the game... Matsui scored in the ninth on Wilson's fielder's choice to give the Yanks an insurance run... Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth to earn his tenth save in ten chances and give the Yanks their seventh straight win...
Donovan Osborne (2-0) got the win in relief for the Yanks. He pitched four innings and allowed a run on four hits... Paul Quantrill, Tom Gordon and Rivera didn't allow a baserunner in the final three innings... Bradford (1-1) got the loss for Oakland, but managed to earn a Hold in the process (he left the game with the lead intact)... Rodriguez had three hits, including his 350th career homerun and his 1,000th career RBI. He is the youngest player ever to hit 250 homeruns... Sierra had three hits in the game, bringing his average to .320 on the year, he also now has 15 RBI... Only Gary Sheffield didn't record a hit, though he did draw a walk... Oakland uncharacteristically stole three bases in the game, two by Eric Byrnes during the same at bat... Chavez made a fantastic play at third to rob A-Rod of his fourth hit, diving to his left, knocking down a screaming line drive and throwing to first for the out... Derek Jeter made a dazzling play, catching a pop-up over his shoulder, basket-style, in shallow centerfield then throwing to second for the double play... The win, coupled with another Boston Red Sox loss, moved the Yankees into a tie for first place atop the AL East.
Game two of the series will be on Wednesday at 10:05 PM Eastern time. Kevin Brown (4-0, 2.70) will face Barry Zito (2-3, 6.83)
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