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06/14/2013 1:41 AM EDT
Freiman's 18th-inning single lifts A's over Yanks
OAKLAND 3, NY YANKEES 2 (18 INNINGS)

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Baseball Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Maybe a game-winning, broken-bat hit
against baseball's career saves leader in the 18th inning will
get Nate Freiman in a nice groove again.



Freiman singled home the winning run against Mariano Rivera,
lifting the Oakland Athletics to a 3-2 victory over the New York
Yankees on Thursday for a three-game sweep.



"It was his deal," Freiman said of the cut fastball he saw.
"That one he always throws."



As a day game after a night game turned into a night game after
a day game, John Jaso singled off Preston Claiborne (0-1) to
start the decisive rally and went to third on Seth Smith's soft
single to shallow left field against Rivera.



Rivera issued only the 39th intentional walk of his 19-year
career to Jed Lowrie before Freiman ended the 5-hour, 35-minute
game on New York's getaway day to Anaheim for a weekend series
with the Angels.



"A little broken-bat blooper over the third baseman, and the
other one the same place," Rivera said. "You can't do anything
about it."



Freiman knew he had it, raising his right arm in triumph.



"I knew that was not getting to the left fielder. I knew it was
falling," he said.



Moments later, Freiman received a celebratory whipped cream pie
in the face following his first career game-ending hit - and
Oakland's fifth of 2013 after compiling a major league-best 14
walk-off wins last year. He had entered the game in the top of
the 16th.



The AL West-leading A's (41-27) won their 11th in a row at home,
21st in 26 overall, and moved a season-best 14 games above .500
to extend their best start since 1990. They became the first
American League team to play two 18-inning games in one season
since Oakland and the Washington Senators did so in 1971.



Freiman's wife, LPGA golfer Amanda Blumenherst, quickly
congratulated her husband on Twitter: "Ahhh!! Nate just ended
the 18 inning game! Bases loaded, single!! Pie in the face!
Athletics win!"



Each team used seven pitchers and threw 255 pitches. In all, 137
batters came to the plate - short of the season high of 156
during Oakland's 19-inning win over the Angels in April and also
the 20-inning game between the Marlins and Mets last Saturday.



"It was very taxing even winning the game. To lose could have
been demoralizing," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "These are
awful games to lose."



New York made a dramatic play in the bottom of the 15th to keep
the game going.



Pinch-hitter Coco Crisp singled to left with one out and Vernon
Wells made a perfect throw to catcher Chris Stewart, who blocked
the plate and absorbed a collision to prevent Brandon Moss from
scoring the winning run.



The A's had already begun streaming out of the dugout to
celebrate.



The Yankees had runners in scoring position in each of the extra
innings through 14, stranding 11 baserunners. They left 13 on
base in all while dropping their seventh in a row at the Oakland
Coliseum.



Pitching for the first time in eight days, Jesse Chavez (1-0)
struck out seven in 5 2-3 scoreless innings.



Chavez fanned Kevin Youkilis and Wells with two on to end the
13th, then Travis Hafner and Wells in the 15th.



Jerry Blevins escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 11th
with two strikeouts. Pat Neshek worked out of trouble with
runners on first and second in the 12th.



Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer in the first as New York ended
a season-long five-game stretch without a long ball, but the
Yankees didn't score again on another day of missed
opportunities.



"I think it's probably a little more frustrating because you can
look at how you had an opportunity here and an opportunity
there," manager Joe Girardi said. "A lot of guys probably look
at that, but it doesn't change the result."



It was the longest day game in Coliseum history.



Neither A' starter Jarrod Parker nor New York counterpart Hiroki
Kuroda got a decision after a nice pitchers' duel hours before
the game ended.



After Smith's tying, two-out double in the third, Oakland didn't
reach base again until Jaso's bloop single leading off the
ninth.



Oakland won the season series 5-1 for its second-best mark
against the Yankees in franchise history. The 1990 club went
12-0.



The A's tied it at 2 in the third on a close play at the plate.
Smith doubled off the wall in right and the relay throw was on
target to Stewart, who tagged Jaso with his glove but had the
ball in his bare hand.



Jaso was called safe by plate umpire CB Bucknor, drawing an
argument from Girardi.



Earlier in the inning, Derek Norris' RBI groundout scored Chris
Young, who drew a leadoff walk. Eric Sogard followed with a
single before the A's pulled off a double steal.



Parker, riding a three-start winning streak, was helped by a
pair of double plays in the first four innings.



Kuroda's winless stretch reached five starts since he beat
Toronto on May 17. He became the third Japanese-born pitcher
with 1,000 innings in the majors, joining Hideo Nomo and Tomo
Ohka.



Girardi bumped Jayson Nix up to the No. 2 spot in the batting
order from eighth a night earlier to shake things up and get the
Yankees going, but Nix went 1 for 5 with a strikeout to end the
12th.



NOTES: Yankees captain Derek Jeter had his surgically repaired
left ankle examined by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C.,
and was cleared to resume baseball activities and running. ...
Crisp (bruised heel) and LF Yoenis Cespedes (tight left
hamstring) were held out of the starting lineup. ... Rivera
received a surfboard and a bottle of white wine from Napa Valley
from the A's in a pregame ceremony, along with a $10,042
donation to his foundation. ... The A's are 7-0-2 in their last
nine series. ... New York agreed to contract terms with Notre
Dame 3B Eric Jagielo, who signed for $1,839,400. He was the 26th
overall pick in last week's draft and one of three first-round
selections by the Yankees.

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