Teixeira a handful for A's in third straight loss

Teixeira a handful for A's in third straight loss

NEW YORK -- Beating the Yankees seemingly starts with beating Mark Teixeira.

Well, at least when Oakland's in town.

On Wednesday, lefty Brett Anderson set out to do what two of his right-handed teammates couldn't quite accomplish in their own starts in the Bronx earlier this week: Make outs out of Teixeira.

Easier said than done -- no matter what side of the plate he's batting from.

New York's first baseman, who in his first two games of the series tallied five hits -- two of them homers -- and four RBIs, only added to that total Wednesday, compiling three hits and three RBIs as the A's, for the third straight day, fell to New York, 4-3.

For what it's worth, Wednesday's September-opening affair represented a rather notable improvement from the club's previous two defeats, which brought about a combined 20 Yankees runs. This time around, Oakland's starter lasted more than four innings, and its hitters showed some decent life in the form of nine hits following a pair of games in which righties Trevor Cahill and Vin Mazzaro fizzled.

Yet there were still flaws -- notably eight runners left on base and a second-inning catching error by Anderson at first base, where he dropped a ball fielded by Daric Barton while at the same time stumbling over the bag and onto the ground.

It initially appeared to be something of a scary moment for the A's lefty, who exited his last outing following just two innings after hyperextending his right knee. Anderson came out of the blunder fine, but the two-out error brought homer Curtis Granderson, who had reached base on a single. It also paved way for back-to-back base hits from Nick Swisher and Teixeira, the latter of which scored two runs.

"That was one of the few times in my short big league career I beat somebody to the bag," Anderson said, "and then I had too much time to think about it. ... That was a typical play by me, falling over like that. If I catch the ball or even if I just don't fall, the run doesn't score. That's just the way it goes sometimes."

For as much as Anderson found a slice of humor through it all, he in no way underplayed the effect it had on the game, one that led to his sixth loss of the season.

"I knew it'd be a grind coming in," he said. "If I make that play, the outcome could have been different."

Anderson's eventful second frame followed a first inning that saw him give up a leadoff hit to Derek Jeter that was followed by a one-out, run-scoring single off the bat of Teixeira, who is batting .367 against the A's this season. On Wednesday, his hits appeared to spray every which way -- a scene many in the visitors' clubhouse agreed is typical for someone on such a hot streak.

"When a guy's going well like that, he's going to use the whole field," said Kevin Kouzmanoff, who dove for Teixeira's second-inning hit that took a bad hop through the hole near shortstop. "You have to go toward his tendencies. He pulls the ball, so you have to think he's going to pull the ball. You gotta go with what's on paper."

"When we put up numbers like we have the last week, run-wise, you need bounces," Teixeira said. "Two of my hits were lucky -- ground balls with eyes."

Anderson managed to keep the Yankees off the board during his final four frames, but he left trailing, 4-3, having given up four runs -- one earned -- on eight hits while walking two and fanning four. He was seemingly shaken in more than one way, as he also took a liner off his arm in the third.

"I was a human L screen tonight," he said.

"I thought that, against that lineup, he did a decent job," manager Bob Geren said of his starter. "He pitched good enough. If we would've converted that one play, it might have been different. But even then, one play doesn't ever lose a game for you."

Anderson's offense, meanwhile, stayed quiet through the first three frames against Yankees starter A.J. Burnett before Kouzmanoff launched his 13th homer of the year -- a two-run shot to right field -- to get the A's going. An RBI groundout from Coco Crisp in the fifth represented Oakland's third run of the night, but that's all the club could muster off Burnett, who gave up three runs and six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in six innings of work.

"For the most part," Burnett said, "I was able to make pitches. I was able to establish the curveball early."

As a result, the A's went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position en route to watching their season record with the Yankees fall to 1-8. They also dropped to two games below the .500 mark and have now lost five of their last seven games, with their road trip record now standing at 4-5 with one game remaining at Yankee Stadium.

"It's been a tough series," Geren said. "We got beat up pretty good the first two nights. I thought that we made one heck of a game out of it at the end today. To fall behind like we did again and not have a 'Here we go again' attitude, that was encouraging."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.