Braden led off the frame by hitting Derek Jeter with a pitch. After throwing a pitch to Curtis Granderson, Braden was seen leaning over in pain before receiving a visit from manager Bob Geren and team trainer Steve Sayles.
"My leg started to spasm," Braden said. "Before the sixth, it cramped up and I had to stretch it out. When I landed on that pitch to Granderson, I went to flex my [right] leg and it just grabbed."
The A's pitcher insisted he drank two pitchers of water on Wednesday night and had never experienced anything of the sort. He was given an IV shot following his exit and said he was feeling better.
"That's why it was so scary to me, because I've never cramped up like that before," Braden said. "I thought my leg was falling off. Physically, it felt like there was a knot in the back of my leg. It feels like I pulled my hamstring 20 times in a row."
The A's southpaw was immediately taken out of the game and replaced by lefty Jerry Blevins, who proceeded to surrender New York's second homer of the day to Curtis Granderson. The first came in the second off Braden, who offered up a solo shot to Jorge Posada.
Before his departure, Braden engaged in quite the pitchers' duel with CC Sabathia, as both combined to give up just three hits through the first five innings in the four-game series finale. Braden left having allowed one run and two hits with two walks and four strikeouts while throwing 79 pitches.