Vidal Nuno was a road warrior coming into his Sunday afternoon start against the Oakland Athletics, having been 2-0 with a 1.81 ERA in six career starts as the visiting pitcher. It didn't take the A's very long, though, to turn him into road kill.
For Nuno and the Yankees, road start No. 7 is one everybody would like to forget after the left-hander was tagged for a career-high eight runs on eight hits in just three-plus innings, as the Yankees fell to the A's, 10-5, on a nice Father's Day afternoon out in Oakland.
Worst of all, the Yankees used five pitchers in this game, and not one of them was Ichiro Suzuki.
To make this recap quicker than Nuno's day, the A's jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the four batters into the first inning when Derek Norris took Nuno deep -- practically across the bay -- for a three run homerun. An inning later, in the 2nd, Coco Crisp added another three-run dinger that made it a 6-0 game.
After Nuno worked a three up, three down 3rd, the A's put four more runs on the board, beginning when the first two batters reached base against Nuno, who's day was done after that. Joe Girardi called upon Joe Ramirez, who walked Crisp to load the bases, hit Craig Gentry to force in a run, then gave up a couple of singles to Yoenis Cespedes, scoring a run, and Josh Donaldson, scoring two, to make it a 10-0 game.
Nuno was knocked around for the eight runs in eight hits, with a walk and two strikeouts. He hadn't given up a homerun before on the road, but gave up two of them today. Ramirez, meanwhile, was charged with two of the four 4th inning runs on three hits.
The Yankees were making Jesse Chavez look very good through the first five innings until Mark Teixeira finally put them on the board in the 6th inning with and RBI double to drive in Derek Jeter, who doubled ahead of him.
Chavez lasted six inning, giving up just one run on five hits, while striking out four without a walk to his credit. He was 0-3 in his last three starts coming into the game, but was much better in this one.
That cut the deficit to 10-1, then Carlos Beltran gave the Yankees another run in the 7th with a solo homerun off of Ryan Cook -- his 6th homerun of the season, and his first since coming off of the DL. Later in the inning, Jeter hit a sac fly to drive in Ichiro, making it a 10-3 ballgame.
Shawn Kelley tossed a scoreless 5th inning. Adam Warren struck out four in two shutout inning, giving up one hit. And Matt Thornton rounded out the game for the Yankees' bullpen with a scoreless 8th inning. So at least everybody behind Ramirez did their job.
The Yankees refused to go down quietly in the 9th inning, as Brett Gardner pulled the Yankees to within five runs in the 9th inning with a two-out, two-run homerun off of Jim Johnson, his 5th long ball of the season.
Brendan Ryan followed with a walk and Alfonso Soriano trailed behind with a single, knocking Johnson out of the game. But the rally didn't go any farther, as Luke Gregerson struck out John Ryan Murphy to end the game.
The Yankees have Monday off as they travel back from following this 10-game, three-city road trip. When they get back home, they'll be greeted by the Toronto Blue Jays, who the Yanks will start a three-game series with at Yankee Stadium this week. Masahiro Tanaka will be on the mound for the series opener on Tuesday, facing off against Marcus Stroman at 7:05 pm ET.
(Box score from today's game)