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Teixeira, Sabathia lead Yanks to 7th straight win

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[July 24, 2009]  NEW YORK (AP) -- Mark Teixeira homered and drove in three runs, CC Sabathia recovered from a shaky start and the New York Yankees extended their winning streak to seven Thursday night with a rain-delayed 6-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

HardwareJorge Posada knocked in two runs and Phil Hughes tossed two perfect innings for his first major league save as New York increased its AL East lead to 2 1/2 games over idle Boston.

After sitting through a rain delay of 2 hours, 43 minutes, the Yankees overcame an early three-run deficit and handed rookie Vin Mazzaro (2-7) his seventh consecutive loss.

Eric Hinske's RBI single capped a four-run burst that put New York on top in the fourth. Riding a string of solid starting pitching performances, the Yankees (58-37) are 7-0 since the All-Star break after opening 8-0 in the second half last year. They have won 20 of 27 overall.


New York's 30th comeback victory this season ended at 12:41 a.m. EDT.

The game was scheduled to make up an April 20 rainout, and the teams had to wait nearly 3 hours to start. The A's might have wished they never did.

In the opener of a four-game series, last-place Oakland dropped its seventh straight against the Yankees. The A's have lost 16 of 25 overall.

On a blustery night in the Bronx, Sabathia (10-6) allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings, improving to 4-7 in his career against Oakland.

With manager Joe Girardi looking to rest 39-year-old closer Mariano Rivera after he saved five games in six days, Hughes got the ball in the eighth and never gave it up.

The right-hander, a converted starter, has thrown 22 consecutive scoreless innings and has not permitted a run in his past 15 outings since June 14.

Mazzaro, a 22-year-old right-hander from nearby Rutherford, N.J., grew up a Yankees fan and left 18 tickets for family and friends. The rain produced a sparse crowd, so his cheering section could be heard from the front of the second deck on the third-base side, overlooking Oakland's dugout.

Mazzaro began his career with 17 2-3 scoreless innings, winning his first two starts, but he's winless in his last eight.

Oakland staked Mazzaro to an early lead against Sabathia. Kurt Suzuki's second-inning double set up a sacrifice fly by Jack Cust and a two-out RBI single by Bobby Crosby.

Matt Holliday doubled leading off the fourth and scored on Suzuki's one-out single, making it 3-0 before New York solved Mazzaro in the bottom half.

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Johnny Damon reached on a hard-hit infield single and Teixeira drove a 3-0 pitch into the second deck in right for his 24th homer, tying him for the AL lead. Alex Rodriguez walked and stole second, Posada hit a run-scoring double and Hinske's RBI single with two outs put the Yankees ahead.

Derek Jeter worked a leadoff walk in the fifth, Damon singled and Teixeira hit an RBI double. Posada's one-out single made it 6-3 and chased Mazzaro.

NOTES: Oakland leadoff man Adam Kennedy, a left-handed hitter, was rested against Sabathia. Crosby, who started at third base is 8 for 26 (.308) with a homer vs. the big lefty. ... Injured A's starter Justin Duchscherer, a two-time All-Star recovering from March elbow surgery, could make a minor league rehab appearance Sunday for Class-A Stockton. He will be limited to 30 pitches over two innings, manager Bob Geren said. ... The Yankees are 33-16 in their new home -- 27-9 since Rodriguez returned from hip surgery. ... New York is 40-20 against teams outside the AL East.

[Associated Press; By MIKE FITZPATRICK]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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