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A's opener has familiar feel for Yanks

A's opener has familiar feel for Yanks

SEATTLE -- Johnny Damon knows all too well what the Yankees can expect heading into the second leg of their three-city, 11-day road trip, their longest trip of the remaining schedule.

Having taken three out of four games in Seattle to continue their second-half success, the Yankees -- winners in 23 of their past 30 contests -- will try their luck in a three-game set against the A's at McAfee Coliseum.

"Oakland is a tough place to play," Damon said. "It's a big ballpark for a team like ours, who have hitters who foul pitches off. We need to go in there and play well."

Damon got to experience that expansive foul territory first-hand in 2001, his only season playing for Oakland. The Yankees took a closer look at the A's for a four-game set in July -- necessitated by an April rainout -- and while New York won three of the four games, it was hardly a cakewalk.

"The last time we faced Oakland, it seemed like those pitchers actually had matured a lot," Damon said. "They're growing up and they're learning in the big leagues. Hopefully I come back to life and a few other guys follow me, and if that's the case, we'll be pretty happy."

While they'll see the young and talented Vin Mazzaro and Brett Anderson on tap for the last two of the three contests in Oakland, the Yankees will at least be looking at a familiar face on Monday.

Journeyman right-hander Brett Tomko will be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to make the start against New York, having signed a Minor League contract with the A's on Aug. 5.

Tomko made 15 appearances with the Yankees after attending Spring Training with the club, but the 36-year-old was designated for assignment on July 21 to clear room for Sergio Mitre on the big league roster.

After the transaction, Tomko was critical of the organization and said he had no desire to return to the Bombers, believing that his 5.23 ERA had been a result of a lack of opportunities to be successful.

"It's an interesting twist," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I think we have an idea of what he's going to do."

Pitching matchup
NYY: RHP A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.71 ERA)
Coming off one of his finest outings of the season, Burnett sputtered a bit last Wednesday against the Blue Jays, serving up 10 hits, walking two batters and throwing two wild pitches -- the last of which directly led to Toronto's third run. He received his second straight no-decision. Burnett last faced the Athletics last year in Toronto, giving up four runs over six innings of a victory. He is 0-1 with a 2.13 career ERA at the Coliseum, and is 0-3 over his past five starts on the West Coast, dating to 2007.

OAK: RHP Brett Tomko (1-2, 5.23 ERA)
Tomko joins the A's after being designated for assignment on July 22 by the same Yankees team he'll face Monday. He pitched 20 2/3 innings in 15 games for New York, all out of the bullpen. Tomko is 96-101 with a career ERA of 4.69 over 13 Major League seasons. He's 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in five career games against the Yankees.

Tidbits
Derek Jeter has 2,675 career hits as a shortstop, surpassing Luis Aparicio (2,673) on Sunday for the most all-time. ... Former A's outfielder Nick Swisher has homered in back-to-back games. Of his 20 dingers, 13 have come as a left-handed batter and 17 have come away from Yankee Stadium. ... Robinson Cano has a 14-game hitting streak and is hitting .431 (23-for-58) with two homers and four RBIs during the string. ... The Bombers have homered in 14 consecutive games, compiling 28 total homers during the span.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• YES

On radio
• WCBS 880, 92.7 WQBU (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Yankees (CC Sabathia, 13-7, 3.64) at Athletics (Vin Mazzaro, 4-8, 5.54), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Wednesday: Yankees (Chad Gaudin, 5-10, 5.13) at Athletics (Brett Anderson, 7-8, 4.55), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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