All-Star slugger Mark Teixeira homered twice after Scott Kazmir left his start with triceps tightness, and CC Sabathia won for the first time in a month when the New York Yankees held off the Oakland Athletics 5-4 Wednesday night.
Stephen Drew, who entered as a late-game defensive replacement in a 1-for-24 slump, homered off Fernando Abad in the eighth inning to give New York a 5-2 lead. Andrew Miller, just off the disabled list, nearly gave it all back in his first appearance since June 9, allowing a two-run shot in the ninth to Marcus Semien.
Stephen Vogt reached second on third baseman Gregorio Petit's two-out throwing error. But Petit charged Ben Zobrist's soft grounder and fired a quick throw to first for the final out, with Teixeira making a tough stretch. That gave Miller his 18th save in 18 chances.
Pitching on eight days' rest after having his start pushed back, Sabathia (4-8) recovered from two rocky innings to pitch into the sixth. He allowed two runs but struck out only one, the first time he fanned fewer than two since Aug. 7, 2013.
Kazmir left after the third inning with a 2-1 lead, having yielded an unearned run, but Evan Scribner needed just four pitches to give up the edge. Teixeira led off the fourth with a long ball and then opened the sixth with another, his 22nd of the season. Scribner (2-2) has allowed 11 home runs, most among major league relievers.
The A's dropped to 5-17 when their opponent starts a left-hander. They are 39-48 overall.
Dellin Betances bounced back with a perfect eighth after giving up a go-ahead homer to Brett Lawrie in the 10th inning of Tuesday night's loss. Betances slid back into the setup role with Miller's return.
Jose Pirela had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly for the Yankees, who improved to 2-4 against Oakland this season.
Manager Joe Girardi skipped Sabathia on Sunday to give the struggling lefty a chance to work on his pitches. The former ace had given up 10 runs and 14 hits over his previous two starts and had not won since June 7. The time off didn't initially appear to have helped.
The A's made good contact against Sabathia in the first two innings, hitting sharp liners and scoring twice in the second on four hits.
Billy Butler doubled to start the second. He was caught in a rundown when he broke for home on Jake Smolinski's grounder to third base. Josh Phegley and Mark Canha followed with one-out RBI singles for a 2-0 lead.
Girardi got help up in the Yankees' bullpen, but Sabathia recovered and didn't yield another hit until the fifth. He was lifted with one out in the sixth following Smolinski's single. Called up Tuesday, it was the first hit for Smolinski with Oakland.
Sabathia allowed seven hits and two walks in 5 1-3 innings.
The Yankees got one back in the second against Kazmir on Didi Gregorius' RBI double after an error by Lawrie at third base on Young's leadoff grounder.
Kazmir allowed two hits and a walk in three innings. He struck out four.
Athletics: Closer Sean Doolittle (left shoulder) played catch Tuesday for the first time since going on the disabled list May 28. Manager Bob Melvin said Doolittle "felt great."
Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury went 1 for 4 in his first game in seven weeks. He was activated from the DL before the game. ... 3B Chase Headley was held out because of a sore calf. Girardi hopes to have Headley in the lineup Thursday.
Athletics: Jesse Chavez has struggled over his last six starts, posting a 5.00 ERA and a .297 opponents' batting average. But he's been really good against the Yankees throughout his career: 4-0 with a 1.63 ERA in five appearances, three starts.
Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka has not won in four starts, the longest drought of his brief major league career. After giving up a career-high three homers in two straight starts, the right-hander did not allow a long ball in his last outing.