Nova, Yanks' bullpen halt A's win streak

Nova, Yanks' bullpen halt A's win streak

OAKLAND -- Ivan Nova strung together six efficient innings of one-run ball, and the Yankees' formidable bullpen finished off the A's in a 4-1 series-opening victory Thursday night at the Coliseum, snapping Oakland's four-game win streak.

Carlos Beltran hit a two-run homer off reliever Fernando Rodriguez and drove in three runs overall, while Aaron Hicks chipped in with an RBI double for the Yankees, who knocked A's starter Kendall Graveman out of the game after 5 2/3 innings.

"You want to go as deep as you can in the game," Nova said. "To be able to throw so good for the team and get the win, it feels good. This is what I want to do every time I go out there."

Nova holds A's to one run

Nova not letting go of another chance to start

Graveman allowed two runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out four in the loss, falling to 1-6.

"That's the best we've seen him pitch," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Nova. "It was a true hard sinker today. We had a tough time left or right trying to get him in the air. His curveball was just enough to keep you off balance. He maybe threw a few changeups. It was mostly fastball-curveball. His fastball had really good sink today."

Melvin on Athletics' 4-1 loss

Trouble on the basepaths: Beltran drove home the Yankees' first run with a third-inning double, then forgot that there were two outs and hesitated as Josh Reddick dropped a Brian McCann liner, costing the Yankees a run. The baserunning issues continued in the sixth, as the Yanks stroked four straight hits but settled for one run as Chase Headley was picked off and Didi Gregorius was thrown out at second base.

McCann reaches on an error

"I felt like I got caught up with just praying for four innings, just hoping that we got the lead and we were able to win this one," Beltran said. "It was a mental mistake and in this game, mental mistakes could hurt the team. Being aggressive like Didi, being aggressive trying to take the extra base, we can deal with those. But the mental ones are tough."

Reddick homers, later exits: Though Reddick has been swinging a hot bat all month, his fourth-inning homer was his first in May. The right fielder finished with two hits, before departing after seven innings with a left thumb fracture sustained during a head-first slide into second base, and is 22-for-47 (.468) over his past 14 games. Reddick is expected to miss at least four weeks.

Reddick's solo home run

"He hits third for us every day. He's one of the better players in the league," Melvin said. "That's a pretty significant guy to lose." More >

Reddick exits the game

Here comes the hook: Nova threw just 62 pitches as he cruised through six innings, allowing just Reddick's fourth-inning homer among four hits, but manager Joe Girardi couldn't resist calling on the "Done BMC" relief trio for the second straight night. Dellin Betances struck out two in the seventh, Andrew Miller struck out one in the eighth and Aroldis Chapman worked the ninth for his fifth save. It marked the fourth time all three relievers have been deployed in the same game.

Chapman shuts the door

"You look where I took him out in the lineup, they had four hits and the next four hitters had the four hits," Girardi said. "Reddick had one, [Danny] Valencia had one and hit a couple balls hard, and [Stephen] Vogt had the other two. I just thought, 'I'm going to make a change.'" More >

Betances ends the 7th

"When you've got those three guys rested and ready to go, it's tough not to use those guys." -- McCann

The Yankees successfully challenged a call at first base in the first, as Brett Gardner was initially ruled out on what would have been a 6-4-3 double play. A review of 52 seconds showed that Gardner touched the base before the throw landed in first baseman Yonder Alonso's glove.

Gardner beats throw to first

Yankees: CC Sabathia (2-2, 3.81 ERA) will be activated from the disabled list to make his sixth start Friday at 9:35 p.m. ET. Sabathia last pitched on May 4, working seven scoreless innings against the Orioles despite sustaining a left groin strain during the effort. Sabathia grew up in nearby Vallejo, Calif., and is 4-7 with a 5.44 ERA in 15 career starts at the Coliseum.

A's: Sonny Gray gets the start in Friday's 6:35 p.m. PT matchup with the Yankees at the Coliseum. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 10.31 ERA over his past four starts after going 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA in his first four starts. He's 1-1 with a 3.43 ERA in three career starts against New York.

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Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010.

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.