Gray's short start, shaky D sink A's vs. Yanks

Gray's short start, shaky D sink A's vs. Yanks

OAKLAND -- Carlos Beltran collected three doubles and as many RBIs, helping the Yankees hand Sonny Gray and the A's another loss at the Coliseum on Friday night by an 8-3 decision.

Backing CC Sabathia's six innings of one-run ball, the Yankees chased a struggling Gray out of the game after just 3 1/3 innings, scoring five times in an eventful fourth inning that included a two-run triple from Ronald Torreyes. It marked the Yankees' first three-game winning streak of the season.

"It's the first time we did this? It's a good start, then," Beltran said. "CC did a great job today, pitched good, gave us the opportunity to win a ballgame. Let's try to go for the fourth game in a row tomorrow."

Beltran's three doubles

Sabathia did his part with eight strikeouts in his return from the disabled list, and Jacoby Ellsbury chipped in with a two-run triple in the ninth to cap off the scoring.

"We've been battling all year,' Sabathia said. "We're starting to turn things around, so you want to keep it going, keep the momentum going."

Gray was on the hook for five runs (four earned) on six hits and four walks. He also unleashed three wild pitches in the loss, which moved his record to 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA. The A's managed six hits, including an RBI double from Coco Crisp, while committing three errors.

Crisp's RBI double

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
CC is A-OK: Sabathia picked up right where he left off earlier this month, commanding the A's in his return from a left groin strain. Sabathia limited Oakland to just Matt McBride's second-inning RBI single as the Vallejo, Calif. native picked up the victory in front of a sizable crowd of friends and family members. There was a time earlier in Sabathia's career when he would get too amped for outings in Oakland -- attributing to his 5-7 lifetime record here -- but he says that is no longer an issue. More >

"He looked great; had everything working tonight," catcher Brian McCann said. "He had them off balance from the first pitch. He could do whatever he wanted tonight."

Sabathia's one-run outing

Gray day: Gray's early-season struggles have been well-documented, and the right-hander believed he'd made the necessary adjustments following his last start to put them in the past. But Gray couldn't make it out of the fourth inning for the third time in his last five starts, needing 98 pitches -- only 53 of them strikes -- to record 10 outs, struggling with command throughout. He has a 10.38 ERA in those five starts, with 25 runs allowed in 21 2/3 innings. More >

"Early on in the first couple innings it was more about just throwing a lot of pitches," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "The velocity was 95 at times, probably the best velocity we've seen out of him, and he threw some really sharp breaking balls. And then in the fourth it got a little out of hand. They got some hits and then he had trouble finding the strike zone."

Drive for five: The Yankees batted around for five runs in the fourth inning, sparked by an unexpected contribution from Torreyes, as the utilityman stepped into the lineup at third base and delivered a two-run triple up the gap in left-center field. Torreyes scored on a wild pitch and Beltran drove in a pair of runs with a hard-liner double that Crisp misplayed in center field. More >

"Sometimes a ball that is hit right at you like that on a line, especially when the wind is blowing like it is tonight, is tough to judge," Melvin said. "It just got over his head."

Torreyes' two-run triple

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Ellsbury reached base in the fourth inning on catcher's interference, the fifth time that he has done so this season. Entering play on Friday, only 12 catcher's interference errors had been called in the Majors, and no other player had more than two. Ellsbury leads the Majors with 19 catcher's interferences since 2007.

WHAT'S NEXT
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 3.51 ERA) has the ball for his ninth start of the season at 4:05 p.m. ET Saturday as the Yankees go for their fourth straight victory. After an ace-caliber opening to his season, Tanaka's command has slipped of late, as he has allowed 10 runs and 15 hits in his last two starts (12 innings).

A's: Rookie Sean Manaea takes the mound in the 1:05 p.m. PT matchup with the Yankees. Manaea has a 7.91 ERA in his first four big league outings, but the lefty appeared to turn a page in his most recent start, limiting the Rangers to one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings on Monday for his first Major League win.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.