Dave Winfield escaped a rundown to score the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and Ron Guidry won his league-leading 18th game last night in New York as the Yankees beat the Oakland A's, 3-2, for their eighth straight victory.

The victory pulled New York within 1 1/2 games of AL East leader Toronto, which lost to Minnesota earlier in the day. The Blue Jays' lead is their smallest since July 21.

With the Yankees trailing, 2-1, Don Mattingly led off the sixth with his 28th home run of the season. Winfield followed with his second double of the game and was sacrificed to third.

On a 2-1 pitch to Billy Sample, the A's called for a pitchout and foiled an attempted suicide squeeze. Winfield was trapped between home and third base, and catcher Mike Heath ran Winfield back toward third. When Heath flipped the ball to third baseman Tony Phillips, Winfield broke for home and he scored when Phillips' throw was high to pitcher Tommy John at the plate. Winfield was credited with a steal of home.

Guidry (18-5) pitched eight innings, gave up 10 hits and struck out seven. Brian Fisher worked the ninth for his 11th save.