Jose Molina was hit by Lenny DiNardo's pitch with the bases loaded in the 12th inning, and New York edged the Athletics 4-3 Saturday in a tense game that lasted 4 hours, 45 minutes on a 93-degree afternoon.
"That's the way it goes sometimes. It was crazy," Molina said. Robinson Cano had four hits for the Yankees and David Robertson earned his first major league win.
New York, which stranded a whopping 21 runners, was down to its final out in the ninth when Cano doubled off closer Huston Street. Wilson Betemit tied it with an opposite-field single on an 0-2 pitch, handing Street his fifth blown save in 22 chances.
"He put a good swing on a good pitch," Street said. "I wanted obviously to have it in the dirt, but if he didn't swing it was a ball. I guess if I could have that pitch back I would have bounced it instead of aiming at his ankles."
Long after Joba Chamberlain was lifted, Ryan Sweeney put Oakland ahead 3-2 with an RBI single off Mariano Rivera in the ninth. The All-Star reliever struck out three straight batters with a runner on second to keep it a one-run game.
Yankees pitchers had 18 strikeouts in all, their most since fanning 19 on April 29, 2001, in a 17-inning game at Toronto.
The 21 runners left on base by New York were its most since stranding 22 on July 20, 1998, in a 17-inning game against Detroit. The three runners on base when the game ended Saturday count in the Yankees' total.
"It's more frustrating when you lose," manager Joe Girardi said.
The A's stole second twice in the ninth, taking advantage of Jorge Posada's sore hand and weak arm.
The 36-year-old catcher, hit by a foul ball in the eighth, missed 32 games this season with tendinitis in his right rotator cuff and has been relegated to part-time duty behind the plate. He is 3-for-37 throwing out base stealers.
"We'll have to see how he is tomorrow," Girardi said.
Posada was replaced on defense in the 10th by Molina, who wound up with two chances to win it. He grounded out with two on to end the bottom half, then sent the Yankees home happy in the 12th.
The last time New York won on a game-ending hit by pitch, it was Clete Boyer who was plunked on July 15, 1965, against the Washington Senators.
"I hate to say it, but I'm glad he got hit," Robertson said.
Edwar Ramirez struck out four in two shutout innings and Robertson (1-0) worked a scoreless 12th, helped by Brett Gardner's tough catch in deep left field.
Derek Jeter singled leading off the bottom half against DiNardo (1-2), recalled from the minors Friday. Jeter went to second on Bobby Abreu's tapper to the mound, and Alex Rodriguez was intentionally walked.
DiNardo then walked Richie Sexson, loading the bases, before hitting Molina on his right knee with a 1-2 delivery.
"It feels good because we won the game, but it hurts," Molina said.
Molina carried his bat all the way to first base, where he was mobbed by teammates after New York's season-best sixth consecutive win at home. The Yankees also improved to an AL-best 41-1 when leading after six innings.
Oakland, which stranded 14 runners, dropped its fourth straight overall and fell to 7-3 in extra innings.
"The last pitch I threw was just an inch off," DiNardo said. "I was trying to throw a cutter in and make him roll over it."
Throwing 100 mph fastballs on a sweltering day, Chamberlain struck out eight in six innings and left with a 2-1 lead. Still, he wound up with his seventh no-decision in nine major league starts. The A's tied it on Jose Veras' bases-loaded wild pitch with two outs in the seventh.
The Yankees went ahead 2-0 with four consecutive hits to start the second against Sean Gallagher, making his second start for Oakland after coming over from the Chicago Cubs this month in a trade for Rich Harden.
Gallagher limited the damage, however, using a sharp breaking ball to strike out Jeter, Abreu and Rodriguez in succession.
"We played well. It was a great game," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "We were right there. We just didn't win."