OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Yankees lost to the Athletics, 6-4, Tuesday night in the first of a three-game series, but for two oh-so-close plays, they might have come away with a win.
• The first one involved Lyle Overbay, playing just his fifth game in right field, when he seemed to pull up to defer to Robinson Cano on Derek Norris' bloop to short right field, which dropped in between them and became an RBI double (it easily could have, and should have, been scored a single and an error). Overbay downplayed his inexperience in the outfield as a factor and said, "We really lost this game in the first inning when we didn't score off Colon," referring to the bases-loaded, one-out jam Oakland starter Bartolo Colon escaped when he got Kevin Youkilis and Overbay to foul out.
• Still, despite having fallen behind 6-0 after six innings, the Yankees put a scare into the A's, scoring twice in the eighth on RBI singles by Mark Teixeira and Vernon Wells, and twice more in the ninth on another clutch single, this one for two runs, by Teixeira. Then, there was a heart-stopping moment when Travis Hafner gave a Grant Balfour pitch a ride to center field, where it was pulled in at the wall by Coco Crisp a foot or so short of a game-tying home run.
The low-key Hafner did not seem all that surprised or affected by the dramatic ending to the game.
"I was hoping it would at least be off the wall, but the ball doesn't travel well here at night," he said. "You want to win the game, we had a good comeback going, but what are you going to do?"
• Numbers don't lie: CC Sabathia is 2-2 with a 5.55 ERA over his last five starts.
• Cano, who had just three hits in his previous 28 at-bats coming into the game, was 2-for-3, including a double during the ninth-inning rally.
• Teixeira's three RBIs gave him 14 in 11 games since returning from the DL.