Rick Cerone broke a ninth-inning tie with a single and Jerry Mumphrey followed with a sacrifice fly, giving New York the victory in Oakland.
Graig Nettles started the ninth with a single off reliever Tom Burgmeier (1-1). Bert Campaneris then sacrificed and Burgmeier fielded the bunt but threw past second base for an error that put runners at second and third. Cerone singled in Nettles and moved Campaneris to third. Mumphrey then hit his sacrifice fly.
"The way I've been going, any hit is a good hit," said Cerone, the catcher who entered the game with a .176 batting average.
Ron Guidry (5-3) allowed seven hits in eight innings. Rich Gossage pitched the ninth for his sixth save.
Gossage struck out the first two batters in the ninth, but Wayne Gross singled and Mitchell Page walked. Rickey Henderson was at the plate with a 2-2 count when Gross tried to steal third. "If it worked, we would have had runners at second and third with a 3-2 count for Rickey. Cerone made a perfect throw," Gross said later, his nose bloodied by the tag third baseman Nettles put on him to the end of the game.