A’s pull off another ninth inning comeback with Mark Canha blast

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SAN FRANCISCO — There were too many déjá vu moments in the A’s eventual 7-6 comeback win over the San Francisco Giants to ignore. Every sign indicated the Oakland A’s would repeat Friday’s comeback heroics Saturday.

They couldn’t, right?

“Our best at bats come late in game,” manager Bob Melvin said.

Both deciding swings came from Bay Area kids. Pleasanton native Stephen Piscotty clocked the game-tying, history-making grand slam Friday. Down to the A’s final strike in the ninth, San Jose native Mark Canha hit the go-ahead three-run home run to seal it. Check.

“I was trying to go deep,” Canha said of his approach against Trevor Gott. “Just, hit a homer and let’s win this game.”

Canha knew Gott liked to throw that breaking ball, so he sat on it with two strikes. The curveball he struck was still sailing as Canha rounded first and turned to his dugout to point to teammates reliving for a second night comeback jubilation.

“I’ll never forget the homer I hit here in 2018 and I’ll never forget this one,” Canha said. “This park holds a special place in my heart. It’s all the more meaningful to do that in this ballpark.”

The sequence of events felt familiar even before Canha’s blast-‘n-point. The A’s were down three runs in the ninth inning. The San Francisco Giants had their quasi-closer, Gott, in for a chance to redeem Friday’s blown save. Check.

Sean Murphy swiped Gott’s first-pitch fastball 399 feet into dead center field for his second home run of the season; the quick chip-away mirrored Matt Olson’s ninth inning solo shot the night before. Check.

Another Giants defensive blunder shook the comeback looser. Hunter Pence misplayed Tony Kemp’s flare with a .050 expected batting average into right-center field, allowing the speedy second baseman to hustle into second base. Not nearly as puzzling as Wilmer Flores’ botched double-play that led to a bases-loaded situation the night prior, but puzzling enough. Perhaps it was the strange breeze that carries there, Melvin pondered aloud. Still, check.

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Then, Gott pitched around Olson — who’s last seven hits have all been home runs — to put Canha to the plate as the go-ahead run. That never-say-die calm about the A’s just seems to get a little stronger as this strange season progresses.

“That was kind of the mantra in the dugout,” Canha said. “’OK boys, here we go again. We’re in a position to win this thing again.’”

Sean Manaea’s improvement

The unlikely comeback followed a promising start for Sean Manaea, who moved up a start day due to Frankie Montas’ lingering upper back tightness.

After a shutout three innings, itlooked like Manaea’s fourth-inning woes would follow him to San Francisco. Austin Slater led off the fourth with a walk and Donovan Solano singled. Mike Yastrzemski tripled and scored on Semien’s error at third base to give the A’s a 3-2 lead. It erased the lead Marcus Semien’s two-run home run afforded them.

But, how Manaea responded was far more telling. After a 1-2-3 fifth inning, Manaea ended up with his best start of the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Latest News


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