Tino Martinez's RBI double off the right-field wall broke a ninth-inning tie and led the New York Yankees to a 5-3 win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
Martinez's one-out double off Doug Jones (3-4) came after Bernie Williams singled and Chili Davis walked. Ricky Ledee followed Martinez's decisive hit with a run-scoring double down the left-field line.
Allen Watson (2-1), who blew a save when his wild pitch allowed the A's to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh, got four outs for the victory. Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 32nd save as the Yankees won for the seventh time in eight games.
Williams hit a three-run homer in the seventh to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead, but the A's tied the score in the bottom of the inning when Watson, the fourth New York pitcher of the inning, threw a pitch about 10 feet over the plate.
Williams, who has 20 RBIs in his last nine games, hit his 20th homer of the season one out after Chuck Knoblauch and Derek Jeter opened the seventh with singles.
The Yankees had just one runner off Gil Heredia in the first six innings, an infield single by Williams leading off thsecond.
Ben Grieve hit his 19th homer for the A's, a solo shot in the second that went an estimated 440 feet to center field. Jason Giambi had a sacrifice fly in the first.
Heredia, who has not lost since June 10, allowed three runs on four hits in seven innings. He has won his last six decisions.
Yankees starter Orlando Hernandez allowed three runs on six hits and five walks in 6 1-3 innings. In his previous start, he lasted just one-third of an inning at Seattle.
The game featured a bench-clearing incident in the first inning after Oakland's Tony Phillips barreled into New York catcher Jorge Posada while trying to score from second on a single by Randy Velarde.
Posada held on to tag Phillips out, and then punched the air with his fist. It was unclear whether Posada was celebrating the out or gesturing toward Phillips, who immediately began arguing with the catcher. Both benches emptied, but no punches were thrown.
The incident came five days after the Yankees brawled at Seattle.
Notes Giambi went 0-for-3, ending his hitting streak at 18 games. Oakland has homered in 13 straight games and 31 of the last 32. Yankees pitcher Jason Grimsley dropped his appeal of a three-game suspension for his role in the brawl last Friday at Seattle, and began serving his punishment Wednesday. The A's tied a club record with their ninth straight errorless game. The only other time they've done that was May 25-June 2, 1975. Before the game, the Yankees activated right-handed reliever Jeff Nelson from the disabled list and optioned right-hander Dan Naulty to Columbus of the International League. Heredia has not walked a batter in his last three starts. He leads the AL in fewest walks per nine innings, with just 22 walks in 142 innings this season. The Yankees went 6-1 on a road trip that ended Wednesday.
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