Canha's go-ahead hit lifts A's over Yankees
NEW YORK — Mark Canha began Tuesday with 12 at-bats, seven of which were strikeouts, and an .083 batting average.
"He is definitely the guy that is getting the short end of the stick here," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said before batting practice. "It's just been a tough go for him more than anybody else as far as at-bats."
Given a chance, Canha came through and gave the Athletics yet another one-run win.
After Jed Lowrie doubled in the 11th inning for his fourth hit of the night, Canha singled off the glove of a diving Didi Gregorius at shortstop to drive in the go-ahead run in a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees.
"I played in the minor leagues for four years, and I got sick of that really fast. So, honestly, I'm just happy to be in the major leagues," said Canha, who actually spent five seasons in the minors. "Whether it's on the bench or playing, I'm a happy camper doing both and rooting for the boys."
Melvin had been concerned about the state of mind of the 27-year-old, who hit .254 with 16 homers and 70 RBIs as a rookie with the A's last season.
"You try to give him a little bit of a pep talk," the manager said. "He goes, 'Don't worry about me. I'm fine. I'm fine. I'm going to keep working. I'll be ready when my number's called.'"
Canha entered the game in the ninth inning against Yankees closer Andrew Miller, who had struck out his seven previous batters.
"It's not like I gave him a day at the beach with his first at-bat," Melvin said.
Canha struck out on three pitches.
"You have at-bats like that sometimes, and it kind of locks you in for the next one," Canha said.
Yankees rookie Johnny Barbato (1-1) pitched a perfect 10th, but Lowrie doubled into the right-field corner against him with one out in the 11th, then took third on a groundout by Khris Davis, who had struck out in his previous three at-bats.
Up came Canha.
"As long as it wasn't Miller. I think I would have been happy with anyone else," Canha said.
He fell behind 0-2, then hit a slider off Gregorius' glove for his second RBI this season.
Fernando Rodriguez (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings, and Ryan Madson got three straight outs for his fifth save in five chances as Oakland (7-7) won its third straight following a four-game losing streak. The A's are 5-3 in one-run games. They did not get their fifth one-run victory last year until June 15 and finished 19-35, according to STATS.
"We know we can win 'em this year," Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt said. "I think that what happened last year is we got off to such a bad start in close games that it started to become, well, they're going to get us at some point, or, man, we're really going to have to get lucky today to win this close game."
RAYS 3, RED SOX 0
BOSTON (AP) — Drew Smyly and the Rays bullpen held the Red Sox to one hit, Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo home run in the 10th and Tampa Bay beat Boston for its third straight win.
Smyly allowed one hit over eight innings and struck out 11 for the second straight start.
Smyly was in a pitching duel with Boston's bullpen after starter Joe Kelly left in the first inning with stiffness in his right shoulder. The Red Sox used six relievers, and the first four preserved the shutout until Matt Barnes (1-1) faced Kiermaier to lead off the 10th.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had Boston's hit, a single to center in the third. Erasmo Ramirez (3-0) threw a hitless ninth for Tampa Bay, and Alex Colome pitched the 10th for his second save.
REDS 4, ROCKIES 3
CINCINNATI (AP) — Jay Bruce had two of the Reds' five steals in the second inning off Jorge De La Rosa — their biggest inning on the bases in roughly a century — and Cincinnati held on to beat Colorado.
Brandon Phillips had four hits, and Billy Hamilton doubled home a pair of runs during Cincinnati's four-run second inning off De La Rosa (1-2). The inning included those record five steals off the left-hander's slow move to the plate. The Reds hadn't stolen so many bases during an inning since at least the 1920s, per information provided by the teams from the Elias Sports Bureau.
It was the most steals that the Rockies had ever allowed in an inning.
Rookie Robert Stephenson (2-0) got his second win as an injury fill-in, called up from Triple-A earlier in the day because scheduled starter Alfredo Simon has a strained biceps.
CUBS 2, CARDINALS 1
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jason Hammel worked six sharp innings and had both RBIs for Chicago in a victory over St. Louis.
The Cardinals stranded two runners against the Cubs bullpen in the seventh and eighth. Yadier Molina was at second base when Hector Rondon struck out pinch hitter Jedd Gyorko to earn his third save in three chances.
Chicago leads the majors at 11-3 and goes for a three-game sweep Wednesday over the defending NL Central champions. They last swept St. Louis in three games on the road Sept. 13-15, 2010.
ROYALS 8, TIGERS 6
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Salvador Perez hit a three-run homer and had a career-high five RBIs, Yordano Ventura twice escaped bases-loaded jams and Kansas City held on to beat Detroit.
The Tigers cut a six-run deficit in half when Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered for the third straight game in the seventh inning. Then they loaded the bases with one out against Joakim Soria in the eighth, but Kelvin Herrera retired Miguel Cabrera and J.D. Martinez around a hit batter to limit the damage.
Wade Davis breezed through the ninth inning for his sixth save.
Ventura (1-0) allowed two runs on six hits in five innings.
Shane Greene (1-1) was tagged for seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.
METS 11, PHILLIES 1
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Neil Walker hit two of the Mets' six home runs, Logan Verrett tossed six scoreless innings and New York beat Philadelphia.
Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes, Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson also went deep to lead the Mets to their third straight win.
Verrett (1-0) allowed six hits, striking out four in his second start in place of Jacob deGrom.
Coming off a dazzling, three-hitter in which he struck out 16 Padres, Vince Velasquez (2-1) got roughed up by the Mets. He allowed five runs — two earned — and five hits in 4 1-3 innings.
RANGERS 7, ASTROS 5
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Prince Fielder hit a towering home run, Ian Desmond had his first two-hit game with Texas and the Rangers beat Houston in the first meeting of 2016 between the AL West playoff teams from last season.
Fielder pulled a ball deep into the right-field seats for a two-run homer in the first, and Desmond had an RBI single later in the inning for a 3-0 lead as the Rangers went ahead to stay against Scott Feldman (0-2).
Jose Altuve and George Springer homered for the Astros, going back-to-back in the seventh to get within 6-4.
Derek Holland (2-0), the first left-handed starter Houston faced this season, allowed two runs while throwing 105 pitches in five innings.
BLUE JAYS 4, ORIOLES 3
BALTIMORE (AP) — Marcus Stroman allowed three runs in seven innings, Troy Tulowitzki drove in two runs and Toronto beat Baltimore.
Jose Bautista had two hits and an RBI for the Blue Jays, who have won three straight to move over .500 (8-7) for the first time since April 5.
Manny Machado and Matt Wieters homered for the Orioles, now 5-1 at home. Baltimore has lost four of five following a 7-0 start.
Stroman (3-0) gave up six hits, struck out three and walked one. The right-hander has won eight straight decisions and 11 of 12 dating to 2014.
Roberto Osuna got four straight outs for his fifth save.
Orioles starter Mike Wright (1-1) gave up three runs over six innings. Half of his six career losses have come against Toronto.
WHITE SOX 5, ANGELS 0
CHICAGO (AP) — Mat Latos didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, Todd Frazier and Jose Abreu hit solo home runs and Chicago beat Los Angeles to snap a three-game losing streak.
Latos (3-0) allowed two hits over 6 1/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 0.49 through three starts.
Frazier went deep to left in the second and Abreu homered to center in the fifth off fastballs by Matt Shoemaker (1-2) in the Angels' fourth loss in five games.
Andrelton Simmons doubled to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games and end Latos' night after 101 pitches. Adam Eaton then threw out Simmons at the plate when he tried to score off C.J. Cron's one-out single to right.
INDIANS 3, MARINERS 2
CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Carrasco allowed a run in 6 1/3 innings, Francisco Lindor had three hits and Cleveland beat Seattle.
Carrasco (2-0) came up limping after covering first base during the third inning but powered through 103 pitches. He allowed four hits and three walks while striking out five.
Mike Napoli scored Lindor with a go-ahead double in the third inning, and the Indians took advantage of starter Wade Miley's wildness to score twice in the fourth.
Kyle Seager hit a solo homer in the sixth for Seattle.
Cody Allen allowed a run in the ninth but recorded his fourth save.
BRAVES 8, DODGERS 1
ATLANTA (AP) — Tyler Flowers went 4 for 4 and drove in three runs, Mallex Smith had three RBIs and Atlanta beat Los Angeles.
The Braves have won four straight after beginning the season 0-9.
Sloppy defense and a poor start by Alex Wood (1-2) doomed Los Angeles, which had three fielding errors, two hit batters, a wild pitch and a passed ball.
Williams Perez, starting on three days' rest, held the Dodgers hitless before Adrian Gonzalez singled with one out in the fourth, but Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez pulled him after the next batter, Yasiel Puig, singled hard to left.
Ryan Weber took Perez's place and struck out Howie Kendrick to end a threat with runners on third and first.
Weber (1-0) gave up three hits, one run and struck out four in 3 2/3 innings. He was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday.
BREWERS 6, TWINS 5
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Scooter Gennett hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth inning and Milwaukee ended Minnesota's four-game winning streak.
Moments after the Brewers gave up a three-run lead in the eighth, Yadiel Rivera led off the ninth with a double against Kevin Jepsen (0-3) and got to third on an error by center fielder Byron Buxton. Gennett followed with his second hit of the game to help the Brewers snap a three-game skid.
Jeremy Jeffress picked up his fifth save in five tries.
Byung Ho Park and Eddie Rosario hit home runs in the Twins eighth off Tyler Thornburg (2-0) to tie it at 5.
PADRES 5, PIRATES 4
SAN DIEGO (AP) — With Mark McGwire managing for the first time in place of ejected Andy Green, Wil Myers and Derek Norris hit two-run homers and Adam Rosales added a solo shot for the San Diego Padres, who rallied to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Green was tossed for arguing after a sequence in which Andrew McCutchen was awarded home on a balk by Colin Rea, and then the umpires twice reversed their call, eventually giving the Pirates the run. McGwire came out to lead Green off the field.
McGwire, baseball's one-time single-season home run king, was hired as Green's bench coach in December.
McGwire went 1 for 2 on challenges. In the fourth, McGwire challenged a call that Gregory Polanco was safe at home on a single by Jordy Mercer, and the call was overturned. Replays showed that Matt Kemp's throw was in time.
In the fifth, Alexi Amarista was called out trying to steal second. McGwire challenged but the call was upheld.
DIAMONDBACKS 3, GIANTS 0
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robbie Ray pitched six scoreless innings, Jake Lamb continued to slug against the Giants by tripling home a run and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat San Francisco.
Jean Segura and Paul Goldschmidt also drove in runs for the Diamondbacks, who won their fourth in five games and have taken 10 of 12 at AT&T Park.
Ray (1-0) retired eight of nine during one stretch and gave up five hits. He matched his career high with eight strikeouts and walked two.
Matt Duffy had two hits for the Giants, who have lost six of seven after winning six of their first eight.
Matt Cain (0-2) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning but then allowed three runs and five hits before being pulled after 4 2/3 innings. It's the second time in five starts that Cain hasn't finished the fifth.