OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Mark Canha’s afternoon began on the Oakland bench, not unusual considering the slump he’s been in.
It ended with the Athletics’ utility player being doused with a bucket of Gatorade and hit in the face with a shaving cream pie following his first game-ending hit in the major leagues.
Canha hit a two-out double in the 10th inning to drive in Sam Fuld and lift the A’s to a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Fuld singled off Cody Allen (1-3) before Canha hammered a 3-1 pitch off the wall in left-center. Fuld raced around third base and slid into home, easily beating the relay throw from shortstop Francisco Lindor.
“It was pretty amazing,” Canha said. “I was just really rooting Sam on when I hit it to run as fast as he could. Sam has great speed and Allen was paying a lot of attention to him over there, and maybe that helped me get in a good hitter’s count.”
Canha entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning after right fielder Josh Reddick suffered lower back tightness while chasing a foul ball in the Indians bullpen. Canha was mired in a 2-for-28 funk since the All-Star break before his double off Allen.
“That’s always tough, whether it’s pinch-hitting or whether it’s coming in unexpected mid-game,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We do enough of them where guys are ready for them, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy. And it’s not an easy guy that he has to face to get that game-winning hit.”
Francisco Rodriguez (2-1) pitched one inning for the win, striking out Lindor with the go-ahead run on third base in the top of the 10th.
Fuld finished with two hits while Billy Burns drove in Oakland’s other run.
Lonnie Chisenhall singled and scored for Cleveland, which has lost two straight.
“We scored seven runs this series and probably lucky to get a split but we had a chance to get three out of four,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “We have to do a better job at manufacturing runs or scoring runs.”
Jerry Sands hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning to put the Indians up early.
The A’s tied it on Burns’ two-out RBI single in the fifth after Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer issued consecutive walks.
Bauer matched Oakland starter Sonny Gray through seven innings before leaving for Zach McAllister with two outs in the seventh. Bauer struck out six and walked four.
Gray overcame early command problems to go seven innings. He scattered four hits, struck out seven and walked four but remained winless at home since May 29.
“It wasn’t his best feeling day,” Melvin said. “When you don’t have your best stuff and you hold the other team to one run it means you’re a pretty good pitcher.”
Indians: 2B Jason Kipnis had an MRI on his right shoulder Sunday morning and could be headed for the DL. Team officials plan to meet Monday to determine the next step. . With Kipnis out, Chisenhall batted in the leadoff spot for the first time this season.
Athletics: OF Coco Crisp could be activated from the DL as early as Monday. Crisp completed a rehab stint in the minors and was in Oakland’s clubhouse before the game. Melvin said Crisp – the A’s leadoff hitter much of his time with the team – will likely bat second behind Burns upon returning. . LHP Felix Dubrount, acquired from Toronto on Friday, was added to the 25-man roster and will pitch out of the bullpen for now. RHP R.J. Alvarez was optioned to Triple-A Nashville to make room.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (6-11) pitches the opener of a three-game series in Anaheim on Monday. Kluber has won just two of his 11 starts on the road this season.
Athletics: RHP Jesse Chavez (5-10) takes the sixth-lowest home ERA in the AL into Monday’s game against Baltimore. Chavez has faced the Orioles four times previously, all in relief.
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