Gonzalez's resilience for A's helps halt Yanks' streak at 8

NEW YORK -- Gio Gonzalez wasn't around to see Landon Powell and the Oakland offense finally come alive. The Athletics starter was in a tunnel deep inside Yankee Stadium, escaping the heat between innings on a warm Saturday afternoon.

The young left-hander had to rely on groans from the crowd to know when the A's finally broke through, taking advantage of a debatable decision by New York manager Joe Girardi to beat the Yankees 6-4 and snap their eight-game winning streak.

"I just kept staring at the ground," said Gonzalez, who rebounded from a rough start to pitch two-hit ball into the seventh inning. "I just tried to stay calm, take it inning by inning, like it was 0-0."

Gonzalez (2-2) wiggled out of his only real jam when he stranded Brett Gardner on third base by retiring the final two batters of the sixth, keeping Oakland within 1-0.

It proved to be an important escape act when the A's scored all their runs the next inning.

Scott Hairston doubled leading off and Nomar Garciaparra drew a walk before Pettitte (8-6) got Jack Cust to fly out. Girardi came out of the dugout to chat with his veteran left-hander, but elected to leave him in with three right-handed hitters coming up and righty reliever Alfredo Aceves warmed up in the bullpen.

It didn't work.

Rajai Davis tied the game moments later with a base hit, and after Bobby Crosby loaded the bases with a bunt single, Girardi trudged back to the mound and finally summoned Aceves.

"That's Joe's call," Pettitte said. "The only bad pitch I felt I made, I backed up a curveball to the leadoff man and I should have bounced it. Once he got on, the inning just started to build."

Aceves got Mark Ellis to pop out before giving up three straight hits. By the time Orlando Cabrera laced a two-run double, Oakland led 6-1 and the Yankee Stadium crowd of 46,412 that had been enjoying a nice pitchers' duel on a pleasant day turned sour, showering Aceves with boos as he walked to the dugout.

"We haven't seen him have an inning like that all year," Girardi said.

Derek Jeter tried to rally New York with a two-run homer in the eighth, and Mark Teixeira followed with a long shot to right. But A's manager Bob Geren called on All-Star closer Andrew Bailey, who got four tough outs to earn his 11th save.

Bailey put the first two runners on board in the ninth, but Jorge Posada grounded into a double play before Jeter flied out to center.

"Every time I get in a save situation, I let a guy or two on to make it interesting," Bailey said, smiling. "All day, the defense came up huge."

There have been 160 homers hit in the first 51 games at the new Yankee Stadium, matching last season's total in 81 games at the old park.

Powell and Cabrera each drove in a pair of runs for the A's, who also ended an eight-game losing streak to the Yankees that dated to last season.

The Athletics, in the midst of 28 straight games to begin the second half, had lost 17 of 26 and appeared to be going nowhere when they traded slugger Matt Holliday to St. Louis for three minor league prospects Friday.

Gonzalez provided an unlikely spark, after giving up a career-high four homers and 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings his last time out. The 23-year-old right-hander, with his father in the stands, used a hard-breaking curveball to strike out six in a career-best 6 2/3 innings.

"I thought that he was great and had good command today," Geren said. "I'll just dwell on the positive, but two out of his last three outings have been unbelievable."

Gonzalez certainly outpitched the 37-year-old Pettitte, who retired his first 10 batters and didn't allow a runner past first until the A's big seventh, and surprised a number of Yankees who couldn't believe he came into the game with a 9.33 ERA.

"Sneaky fastball and an effective curveball," Jeter said. "Who cares what he did the last time? He threw the ball well. We were sitting on the bench talking about how he had a 9-something ERA. He was outstanding. We couldn't get anything going."

Game notes
The win was the third of Gonzalez's career. ... Jeter played his 2,076th game, matching Bernie Williams for fifth on the Yankees' career list. ... Yankees RHP Chien-Ming Wang (shoulder) could see orthopedist Dr. James Andrews early next week, Girardi said. ... Bailey had been charged with a loss in each of his past two outings.