Clutch Canha lifts A's past Yankees in 11th

April 20th, 2016

NEW YORK -- Jed Lowrie tied his career high with four hits and scored the deciding run on Mark Canha's 11th-inning, two-out single, helping to lift the Athletics to a 3-2 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. 

Canha's hit came off rookie Johnny Barbato, shooting just past the reach of shortstop Didi Gregorius and driving home Lowrie, who sparked the rally with a one-out double. The victory was credited to Fernando Rodriguez, who hurled two scoreless innings, while Ryan Madson worked the home half of the 11th to pick up his fifth save.

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"I think tonight it showed that we know we can win in these close games," catcher Stephen Vogt said, "it doesn't matter who's hitting, who's pitching. Canha hasn't had an at-bat in a couple weeks it seems like, and he obviously comes through with one of the biggest hits of the night. It feels like Oakland A's teams of the past, where you just don't know who's gonna beat you on any given night. We like the way we're playing."

Michael Pineda provided a quality start for the Yankees, limiting Oakland to two runs and seven hits over six innings. Marcus Semien and Lowrie each had a run-scoring single off Pineda, who walked one and struck out seven.

Alex Rodriguez knocked a first-inning RBI single and Carlos Beltran lifted a fifth-inning sacrifice fly off A's starter Eric Surkamp, who worked 5 2/3 innings and permitted two runs and seven hits. Facing the Yankees for the first time in his career, Surkamp walked three and struck out three. New York went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, leaving eight on base. 

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"It's the little stuff to win games; we're not doing that," Gregorius said. "We're lacking that right now. We have to pick it up, try to be better baseball players."


Delivering off the bench: The A's had stranded eight baserunners before Canha came to the plate in the 11th and provided the eventual game-winning hit. Canha didn't come off the bench until the ninth inning for his first at-bat in a week, when he struck out on just three pitches against Yankees closer Andrew Miller. Canha found himself in an 0-2 count yet again in the 11th before he sent a sharp ground ball through the left side of the infield.

"I hit a lot in the cage during the game," Canha said. "I've been working on stuff for the past week for moments like this." More >

Gotcha:Jacoby Ellsbury, out of the lineup against the left-handed starter, came off the bench to pinch-run after Chase Headley opened the ninth with a single. After Gregorius tried twice unsuccessfully to get a bunt down facing Rodriguez, Ellsbury broke for second base but was thrown out by Stephen Vogt. It was the second time that Ellsbury has been nabbed in six attempts this year; the rest of the Yankees are 9-for-11 in steal attempts.

"I'm trying to give us a chance to win the game and get a guy into scoring position," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I had Ellsbury in there to make sure the bunt doesn't have to be so good to get him over. It just puts a lot of pressure on the pitcher, but we didn't execute that, then Ells got thrown out, then we gave up a two-out hit in the 11th inning. I thought Johnny threw well, but it's unfortunate."

Bullpen brilliance: A's relievers were fantastic yet again, covering 5 1/3 innings without a run allowed. After Marc Rzepczynski picked up Surkamp with the final out of the sixth inning, John Axford and Sean Doolittle faced the minimum over the next two innings, respectively, ahead of Rodriguez's two-inning stint. Madson's quick work in the ninth gave him his fifth save in as many opportunities this season. A's relievers have yielded one run or fewer in 11 of the club's first 14 games.

Firing blanks: The Yanks' bullpen put on another strong showing. Chasen Shreve hurled a perfect seventh, helped by two sharp plays by Gregorius at shortstop, and Dellin Betances delivered in the eighth.

Betances surrendered a pair of hits, to Danny Valencia and Lowrie, but struck out two in the inning -- including Khris Davis swinging to strand two men aboard. Miller retired all three men he faced in the ninth, as did Barbato in the 10th.

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The A's improved to 5-3 in one-run games. Last year, the club began the season 1-13 in one-run games and did not win its fifth one-run decision until June 16. The A's finished the 2015 season with a Major League-leading 35 one-run losses.


Athletics: Right-hander Kendall Graveman will be on the mound for the A's on Wednesday, when the club takes on the host Yankees in the middle matchup of a three-game series in the Bronx at 4:05 p.m. PT. Despite pitching to a 2.38 ERA in his first two starts, Graveman has a six-game losing streak dating back to last year.

Yankees:Nathan Eovaldi (0-1, 6.94) will make his third start of the season on Wednesday as the Yankees and Athletics continue their three-game series at 7:05 p.m. ET. Eovaldi is coming off a loss to the Blue Jays in which he permitted four runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He is 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA in four career starts vs. Oakland.

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