OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Tino Martinez hit two more effortless homers, while Randy Johnson strained and sweated to get his 250th win. Joe Torre and several of his players also reached milestones, and Jason Giambi got his first important hit in ages.
All that drama did nothing to slow the swagger of the New York Yankees, who have become more confident, more businesslike and more dangerous with each of their eight straight wins.Martinez hit his seventh and eighth homers in eight games and Giambi doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of the Yankees' 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.Although Johnson improbably failed to strike out a batter for the first time in nearly five years, the Yankees rallied from a three-run deficit with all the veteran confidence and firepower lacked by the reeling A's, who lost their eighth straight.Torre was thrilled by the Yankees' complete effort in the manager's 1,800th career victory, which pushed them back to .500 at 19-19 after a dismal April."We didn't really think [.500] would be here this soon, but we know it's not the ultimate goal," said Torre, who became the 13th skipper to reach the mark. "We've got to start thinking in terms of five games over. We have a lot of confidence now, and it's from the top to the bottom of the order."And while two more Coliseum fans gave Oakland another black eye with clownish behavior, the A's longest losing streak since July 1998 was extended -- with the World Series champion Red Sox headed into town Monday.Johnson (4-2) allowed three runs in the first inning but recovered to pitch six innings of seven-hit ball. Johnson became the 42nd pitcher to reach 250 victories -- but he didn't increase his career total of 4,211 strikeouts, third on the majors' career list."I didn't want to be the wheel that fell off the wagon," Johnson said of the winning streak. "[Not getting a strikeout] really wasn't important to me. I was so frustrated after the first inning and realizing I didn't have my best stuff. After that, you're trying to do damage control."According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the longest appearance of Johnson's career without a strikeout, surpassing his three innings on April 10, 1989, with the Montreal Expos against Philadelphia.The Big Unit, who was born and raised in the Oakland suburbs, last failed to get a strikeout on Aug. 25, 2000, while pitching just 2 1/3 innings for Arizona against the Mets."I was sort of happy, because his pitch count got up early, and the strikeouts take more out of him," Torre said. "But it was certainly unusual."Martinez erased Johnson's early three-run deficit all by himself. With chants of "Tino! Tino!" emanating from the Coliseum stands, Martinez hit a solo homer in the second inning and a tying two-run shot in the fourth, both over the short right-field fence against A's starter Dan Haren.Martinez's streak of five consecutive games with a homer ended Friday, but he hit another Saturday. His second homer off Haren was his 12th of the season, tying teammate Alex Rodriguez for the major-league lead."They're not like towering shots," Martinez said with a grin. "They're just barely getting over the fence, but I'll take it. All of them have been to right field. They're pitching me inside, and I'm getting the ball out there."Derek Jeter had three hits, including an RBI single, while rookie Robinson Cano had a career-high four hits. Tony Womack even stole four bases for the second time in five days, tying his career high and the Yankees' franchise record.The A's intentionally walked Jorge Posada in the seventh to face Giambi, who was hit by a beer thrown by a fan on Saturday night.
The former Oakland star hit the first pitch he saw from Ricardo Rincon (1-1) down the right-field line to score Rodriguez, putting New York up 5-4.Giambi, who's getting consistent playing time on the Yankees' road trip to help the club determine his future, went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run scored.Tanyon Sturtze, Tom Gordon and Mariano Rivera each pitched one inning of scoreless relief, with Rivera collecting his sixth save in eight chances -- and the 342nd of his career, surpassing Rollie Fingers for seventh place on baseball's career list.Bobby Kielty had an RBI single but left the game with ribcage soreness for the A's, who had been outscored 35-10 in four losses to the Yankees over the previous eight days.Two men rushed the field in the fourth inning and led security personnel on a protracted chase. One fan attempted to escape over the right field wall, but A's outfielder Eric Byrnes and a security guard pulled him down."I'm frustrated as I can be right now," Byrnes said of the A's struggles. "We have to keep a positive attitude. It's tough, because when you're not winning, it creates a negative attitude. I still see guys going out and giving a good effort."
A's third baseman Eric Chavez didn't start but pinch-hit in the ninth. His 5-for-36 slump had dropped his average to .191 before he popped out to Rivera for the last out of the game.