OAKLAND -- After five games against left-handed starting pitching when the A's left-handed hitters mostly rode the bench, they were unleashed Wednesday. The result was an impressive 5-2 win over the New York Yankees that carried Oakland back into first place in the American League West.
Brandon Moss hit two homers -- his last five hits have all been homers -- and drove in three runs.
John Jaso doubled, singled, walked and drove in the two runs for which Moss didn't account.
Seth Smith singled in his first at-bat, then set a career best by walking in each of his next four trips to the plate.
Eric Sogard walked twice, singled, stole two bases and scored twice.
These are all guys who have been benched for the most part while their right-handed hitting counterparts got a chance to play against lefty starting pitching.
"Did it look like we were rested?" Jaso said with a wide grin.
The glut of left-handed pitching the A's have seen of late -- 12 of the last 18 games before Wednesday started against Oakland had been by lefties -- had left the A's left-handed swingers getting only periodic plate trips, and not always good ones.
Wednesday, the good trips were back.
Moss gave starter Dan Straily a 2-0 lead with a two-run blast in the second inning, then with the Yankees having seized some momentum with single runs in the sixth and seventh to creep to within 3-2, Moss stole it back with a thunderous homer to dead center, his 11th.
"To do that in this park, at night, in the eighth inning (when the ball tends not to travel), that's impressive," right fielder Josh Reddick said. "To hit the ball halfway up the batting eye, to do it here in Oakland, that's no easy feat."
Hits of any sort have been tough for Moss to come by. His last single came on May 19. He was 3 for 36 coming into Wednesday's game, and all three of the hits were home runs.
"He's been whining about not hitting any singles," Reddick said, jokingly. "If he's going to hit them like that, why whine?"
Moss said he had a similar streak "at just about this time last year," but he was playing in the minor leagues then. He's graduated to become a major player in an Oakland lineup that can be a devil to pitch to. The A's, for example, have won four of five against the Yankees this year. Only three teams have won more games in the A.L. this year than the Yankees, and the A's are one of them.
"It was just a matter of time for him," manager Bob Melvin said of Moss. "He's such an important part of our lineup."
All the more so because the A's played this one with left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (left hamstring) and center fielder Coco Crisp (right foot), both of whom were injured in the A's 6-4 win Tuesday. The A's had won two of every three games that Cespedes starts (34-17) and two of every three games that Crisp starts (32-16) before Wednesday.
"It's big to do this tonight," Moss said. "Our MVPs so far have probably been Josh Donaldson and Coco. And Cespedes has really been coming on lately, swinging great. It hurts to be without them, so it feels really good to win."
The win went to Straily, who continues to carve out a spot in Oakland's rotation of the future and of the present. He threw a one-hit shutout for the first five innings and left with a 3-2 lead having allowed just three hits, one walk and a hit batter in 62/3 innings.
The A's have won their last 10 home games, the longest home winning streak in the majors this year.
N.Y. Yankees (Hiroki Kuroda 6-5) at A's (Jarrod Parker 5-6), 12:35 p.m. CSNCA