Phil Niekro allowed five hits over eight innings to get the 291st victory of his career and Rickey Henderson hit a two-run homer, pacing the Yankees to a 5-2 victory over the Oakland A's last night in New York.

Niekro (7-3) shut out Oakland until the eighth when Mike Heath tripled and Alfredo Griffin singled. Niekro struck out six, including Dave Kingman three times, and walked two.

Kingman hit his 12th home run of the season off reliever Dave Righetti to lead off the ninth, cutting the deficit to 5-2. The A's then loaded the bases before Righetti retired Dave Collins on a fly to deep center.

The Yankees, who have won five of their last six games, scored a first-inning run against Chris Codiroli (6-3) on a triple by Don Mattingly and an infield single by Dave Winfield, who went four for four.

"I'm getting into my element now," Winfield said. "As my average creeps up, my confidence creeps up, and that adds up to more hits and more devastation, hopefully."

Winfield raised his average from .256 to .272. He hit .340 last year.

Mike Pagliarulo led off the third inning with a single, and Henderson hit his fifth homer, making it 3-0.

The Yankees got their fourth run in the sixth inning. Winfield led off with a double and went to third when Collins bobbled the ball in the left-field corner for an error. Winfield scored on a single by Don Baylor through a drawn-in infield.

The Yankees added a run in the seventh.