OAKLAND, Calif. — When you win a dozen games in a row, there are going to be different blueprints for victory, and the Yankees found a new one in pulling out a 7-6 win over the Athletics on Thursday night.
The 12 consecutive victories give them their longest streak since 1961, though No. 12 wasn’t easy. The Yankees blew an early six-run lead before Aaron Judge delivered the go-ahead single with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Aroldis Chapman, who hadn’t pitched well for the most part since his return from left elbow inflammation, pitched a scoreless ninth for the 300th save of his career, sending the A’s to their fifth consecutive defeat and ninth in 11 games.
After Starling Marte singled with two outs in the ninth, he stole second. Chapman fell behind Matt Olson, 3-1, before the lefty got Olson to ground to second to end it.
“We’re familiar in those situations,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “They play with a lot of confidence in these games. It hasn’t always been easy or perfect, but these guys are really good at competing when the game is in the balance.”
That was true again in front of 8,147 fans at Oakland Coliseum, particularly for Judge.
“All the way back in April we expected to win [every game], but things weren’t rolling our way, things weren’t clicking for us,’’ Judge said. “Now that all guys are locked in on the same page, magic happens.”
The magic came after Jameson Taillon suffered his worst start since June. He was unable to protect an early advantage after the offense teed off on former Yankees prospect James Kaprielian.
Kaprielian struck out the first four batters he faced — including Judge to lead off the top of the second, leading to Boone’s ejection when he argued a bad call by home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor.
Giancarlo Stanton delivered a towering homer to center with one out in the second that measured 436 feet.
Brett Gardner added another solo shot to right with two out to make it 2-0.
The Yankees added four more runs in the third, with an RBI double by Anthony Rizzo and a three-run homer by Joey Gallo for a 6-0 lead.
Taillon, however, allowed back-to-back homers by Matt Chapman and Sean Murphy to start the bottom of the third. The right-hander walked in a run in the fourth and got ahead of Elvis Andrus 0-2 before allowing a two-run single, which knocked Taillon out of the game.
The A’s finally tied it with Josh Harrison’s solo shot off Albert Abreu with two outs in the fifth.
Judge led off the eighth with a double down the right field line off Sergio Romo and the Yankees loaded the bases with one out, but Gardner popped out on a 3-1 offspeed pitch to bring up Gio Urshela, who grounded out to end the threat.
In the ninth, Rizzo drew a two out walk against Lou Trivino and was replaced by pinch-runner Tyler Wade.
With Judge at the plate, Wade stole second and moved to third when Murphy’s throw sailed into center field for an error.
Judge made the A’s pay with a single to right to drive in Wade and put the Yankees ahead again.
“That was just a good two-strike at-bat,’’ Boone said of the opposite field single. “He was able to dump one out there.”
“Judge has been the one constant,’’ Taillon said of the outfielder’s role in the Yankees’ offense.
But even Judge acknowledged Thursday’s outcome could have been different.
“We go out there and expect to win every game,’’ Judge said. “With 12 in a row, there’s a little bit of luck in there, too.”
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