OAKLAND -- Former A's outfielder and one-time fan favorite Nick Swisher might not be so beloved in Oakland anymore.
After his ninth-inning home run Thursday cut the Athletics' lead to one and extended the New York Yankees' streak of games with three or more runs to 43 -- the second-longest stretch in the live-ball era -- the boos rained down from an announced crowd of 23,382.
"I've never been booed like this in my life," Swisher said. "So, that's all I really have to say about that."
Despite two hits and two RBI from Swisher, the Yankees were unable to claim their 10th consecutive victory in Oakland, as the A's held on for a 4-3 win.
Oakland rookie A.J. Griffin (2-0) threw six innings of two-run ball. He allowed seven hits and no walks while striking out four.
"The kid can locate the baseball and change speeds, and he works fast," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm sure those guys love to play behind him."
Yoenis Cespedes' two-run homer in the first inning opened the scoring, and the A's doubled the lead in the third inning on Seth Smith's two-run single.
"He's a beast," Swisher said of Cespedes, who missed the Yankees' three-game sweep in Oakland from May 25-27. "He's a beast, and there's no doubt about that. It's a good pickup for them."
After retiring 11 consecutive Yankees through the fifth inning, Griffin got into trouble in the sixth. Singles by Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano set the table for Mark Teixeira, who had three home runs the last series in Oakland.
Teixeira got the Yankees on the board with a sacrifice fly, and Swisher followed with an RBI single to cut the lead to 4-2. But Griffin deployed his slow-breaking curveball at 67 mph to strike out Raul Ibanez and end the inning.
"He had that equalizer with that 65 mph breaking ball," Swisher said with a smile. "He's throwing his fastball at 90, 91. You're talking 22, 23 mph difference. Tough to hit."
In his five major league starts, Griffin has already faced the formidable offenses of the San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and the Yankees, and against all of them, he's lasted six innings and has yet to cede more than three runs.
"It's fun," Griffin said of the high-profile opponents. "I didn't have a choice of who I pitched against, obviously, but it's cool to have that experience."
The Yankees, who learned before the game that outfielder Brett Gardner was scheduled for season-ending elbow surgery, were in jeopardy of snapping their consecutive three-plus-runs streak when they entered the ninth inning trailing 4-2. However, Swisher crushed a Ryan Cook offering over the right field wall to give New York its third run.
Cook slammed the door after the solo shot, earning his 10th save. He extended an impressive July for A's relievers in which they have allowed five runs in 40 2/3 innings.
"It's a strength," A's manager Bob Melvin said of his bullpen. "And it's a strength for the offense knowing that if we have the lead going into the late innings, these guys are able to take care of it."
The A's recorded a rare 7-1 putout in the top of the first inning when Cespedes dropped a sinking line drive, leaving Jeter and Rodriguez confused on the basepaths. Cespedes' throw for the forceout at third base sailed high to Griffin, backing up, and the pitcher tagged the base himself.
Cespedes left no confusion in the bottom of the inning on his loud two-run home run to left field. Jemile Weeks, who swiped third uncontested with Cespedes at the plate, trotted in to score the first run of the game on the no-doubt shot.
Weeks singled and ultimately scored again in the third inning on Smith's bases-loaded single.
The A's collected nine hits and four runs off Yankees starter Freddy Garcia in 5 2/3 innings.
"Most of the game I couldn't make a pitch when I wanted to," Garcia said.
NOTES: The longest streak of games with three-plus runs since 1920 was achieved by the 1994 Indians, who had a 48-game streak. ... The Yankees and A's entered Thursday with the top two records since June 2, New York at 29-11, Oakland at 25-14. ... It was "Dog Day at the Park" at the Coliseum, with the A's attempting to earn the Guinness Book of World Records designation for most canines watching a sporting event. The A's reported that 718 dogs were in attendance. ... Oakland catcher Derek Norris went 0-for-4 to extend his hitless streak to 28 at-bats ... Cano's sixth-inning single to left field extended his career-best hitting streak to 22 games ... Jeter's run in the sixth inning was the 1,822nd of his career, tying him with Eddie Collins for No. 15 on the all-time list.
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