Jeter, Tino, A-Rod, Posada power rout

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Nobody in the New York Yankees' clubhouse seems surprised by their domination during a seven-game winning streak. They're just bewildered it took six weeks to get this good.

Derek Jeter and Tino Martinez hit three-run homers, Alex Rodriguez added his major league-leading 12th shot and the Yankees beat the slumping Oakland Athletics for the fourth time in eight days, 15-6 on Saturday night.

Jorge Posada also homered while Martinez had three hits and drove in five runs for the Yankees, who have scored 59 runs during their longest winning streak in more than a year. Hideki Matsui matched his career high with four of New York's 18 hits.

Kevin Brown (2-4) won his second straight start for the Yankees (18-19), who are back within a game of third-place Toronto in the AL East after their April struggles.

Though they concentrated largely on improving their pitching staff in the offseason, they're winning with the same big bats that got them within a game of the World Series last fall. The Yankees rarely lack for confidence or motivation, and both are in ample
supply right now.

"This isn't a team that's going to be content with just winning," Rodriguez said. "We want perfection, and we want to keep getting better."

An Oakland fan threw a beer at Jason Giambi from a seat near the New York dugout after the slugger flied out in the eighth inning.
Giambi was dampened but uninjured, and the Yankees moved ahead for another confidence-boosting win with their usual solid pitching -- and one clutch hit after another.

New York demolished Joe Blanton and the A's early on -- every batter except Gary Sheffield had a hit by the fourth. New York sent 35 hitters to the plate in the first five innings, with Jeter and Tony Womack batting in each of the first four frames.

"We're swinging the bats with a lot of confidence right now," manager Joe Torre said. "We just feel people are going to have trouble beating us. As long as we don't begin to assume that, I think we're going to be OK."

Blanton (0-4) yielded nine runs, seven hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings. Martinez homered off reliever Tim Harikkala in the fourth, and Posada added a two-run shot in the fifth.

Oakland has allowed 35 runs in its four straight losses to the Yankees.

Martinez's homer onto the short right field porch was his sixth homer in seven games. His five-game homer streak -- New York's longest since 1987 -- ended Friday night, but the veteran first baseman also had a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single.

"I've been feeling good for a few days now," Martinez said. "All the guys on the team just seem to be getting clutch hits. We just figured once we started playing the way we're capable, we could get something going."

That provided more than enough support for Brown, New York's struggling 40-year-old right-hander. He had lost seven straight starts dating to last season before beating the A's twice in six days.

Brown's teammates staked him to a 4-0 lead in Oakland before he threw a pitch and then gave him an eight-run cushion in the third and a 12-run margin in the fifth. Brown hardly needed to be sharp, but he allowed eight hits and three earned runs in six innings.

"That makes it a lot easier," Brown said. "You can go out there and just go right at guys and make them swing the bat. When you've got runs up there, it's not quite such a desperate situation."

Though Blanton still hasn't earned his first major-league win, he had pitched superbly in his rookie season until running into the Yankees, who have beaten him twice in a row. His ERA ballooned from 3.22 to 5.08 before manager Ken Macha removed him to scattered booing in the third.

"I haven't been making pitches and falling behind on hitters, and that catches up to you," Blanton said. "I gave up hits, but I gave up walks, and that's the worst part for a guy like me who relies on his control."

Thanks to Blanton's first-inning jitters and horrific control, New York scored four runs without an extra-base hit. Matsui drew a bases-loaded walk, and another run scored when Blanton hit Rodriguez with the bases loaded.

Rodriguez hit a solo homer to center in the third, and the next five batters all reached base. Jeter chased Blanton with his fourth homer of the year, a hard shot to right-center.

"They have a pretty good team over there," Macha said. "They picked us apart, and they made [Blanton] pay for his mistakes. These guys are going to have to ride this out."

Giambi went 1-for-4 with a walk in his second straight start as the Yankees' designated hitter, slightly raising his average to .200. He had a solid first-inning single but never got past first base while the usual boos rained down on the former A's star.

Game notes
Ruben Sierra, on the Yankees' disabled list with a torn right biceps, should rejoin the club in Seattle on Monday. He would be available as a DH or pinch-hitter. ... Bobby Crosby, Oakland's injured shortstop, joined the club's broadcasters in the booth. Crosby, out with broken ribs, hit off a tee and took fielding practice Friday.