Canha blast gives A’s walk-off win over Red Sox
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland Athletics right fielder Mark Canha had already doubled and tripled off five-time American League All-Star Chris Sale when he stepped to the plate leading off the bottom of the 10th inning of a tie game against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
Canha was on a roll and it continued when he lined reliever Heath Hembree’s 2-0 pitch over the left-field fence for a walk-off home run, lifting the A’s to a 3-2 victory at the Oakland Coliseum. It was Canha’s second career walk-off RBI and first career walk-off home run.
“Just get something that looks good to hit,” Canha said of his approach. “I was more kind of focused on my rhythm and just being slow and seeing the ball well. I couldn’t even tell you what pitch it was unless I saw the replay. It just kind of popped out of his hand and I saw it really well and put a good swing on it.”
Since being recalled from Triple-A Nashville on May 9, Canha is batting .476 (10-for-21). The trip to the minor leagues was just what he needed, Canha said.
“Definitely. I needed the reps, I needed the (at-bats), I needed to make some adjustments,” Canha said. “I wasn’t where I needed to be. I had some things to figure out.”
Oakland nearly won it in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and none on when Ryon Healy sent a deep drive to center off Boston closer Craig Kimbrel, but center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. made a leaping catch at the wall, robbing Healy of a walk-off homer.
“Time up my steps and hopefully try to make a good play on it,” Bradley said. “I knew it was going to be pretty close. I knew he hit it well, but from my point of view I thought maybe I had a chance.”
After Ryan Dull pitched a scoreless 10th inning, the A’s quickly got their fourth walk-off win of the season, thanks to Canha.
“When he’s swinging well, it doesn’t matter, righty, lefty, he’s got power,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Dull (2-2) earned the win and Hembree (0-2) took the loss.
Sale allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings, struck out 10 and walked none in a no-decision. He extended his streak of double-digit strikeouts to eight straight appearances, equaling the major league record he shares with Pedro Martinez. Sale first accomplished the feat in 2015 with the White Sox.
Martinez had 10 straight starts with double-digit strikeouts -- his final eight in 1999 and first two in 2000 -- but finished the 1999 season with a one-inning relief appearance.
“I’d rather be 8-0 with no punch outs honestly,” said Sale, who leads the major leagues with 95 strikeouts. “Peripheral stats don’t matter in this game. I know people love crunching numbers and they love talking about this and that. They’re flashy, they’re cool, but at the end of the day they don’t matter, they really don‘t.”
NOTES: The Red Sox optioned LHP Robbie Ross Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket and recalled RHP Noe Ramirez. ... A’s 1B Yonder Alonso (sore left knee) missed his second straight game but took batting practice in the cage. A’s manager Bob Melvin said there’s a chance Alonso could play this weekend. ... A’s SS Marcus Semien (broken bone, right wrist) had the cast removed from his wrist, which was surgically repaired. Semien said a CT scan showed the bone “healed really well, and it’s time to start moving it.” He is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on June 14. ... Red Sox LHP David Price (left elbow strain) made his first rehab start for Pawtucket and gave up three runs on five hits over two innings. He struck out four, walked one and threw 65 pitches. Boston manager John Farrell said no decision has been made on whether Price will need one more rehab start. ... Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval began a rehab stint with Pawtucket and went 0-for-3 as the designated hitter. ... A’s RHP John Axford (strained right shoulder) will be activated from the disabled list on Saturday or Sunday, A’s manager Bob Melvin said.