The defining moment last night in the game was when Joba Chamberlain looked toward Jorge Posada behind home plate, nodded his head at the signal and sent another pitch zipping past Oakland’s Eric Patterson. Steeeerkie Ouuuuut!  Joba pumped his fist as he spun off the mound and headed for the dugout, the fifth-inning strikeout stranding two runners in scoring position.

Derek Jeter drove in two runs and passed Ted Williams on the career hit list, Johnny Damon drove in three runs and Posada hit a solo homer for the Yankees.

Chamberlain (6-2) was dominant for the second straight start, giving up a run and two hits pitching into the eighth inning. He struck out six in his longest outing since June 1. The Athletics couldn’t score runs even when it had Matt Holliday.The three-time All-Star was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals Friday for three minor league prospects, taking one of the A’s hottest bats out of the middle of the order. Things began promising for the A’s, with Orlando Cabrera hitting a one-out double and scoring on Scott Hairston’s sacrifice fly in the first inning. But they managed only one other hit against Chamberlain, who has allowed five total in his last two starts.

New York took the lead for good in the third, when Damon followed Jeter’s RBI single with a broken-bat dribbler to first. Daric Barton fielded the ball and threw to second, but the relay to first for an attempted double play plunked Damon in the hip, allowing Melky Cabrera to score. Damon’s fielder’s choice in the fifth made it 3-1, and Hideki Matsui added an RBI groundout in the sixth.