OAKLAND -- Mark Canha hit a solo homer in the ninth to give the A's their 11th walk-off win of the season, a 6-5 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon at Oakland Coliseum.
Canha drilled a cutter from Mariners reliever Shae Simmons to left for his fifth homer of the season. The 11 walk-off wins are the second-most in all of baseball in 2017, only trailing the Orioles (12). The blast was also the eighth walk-off homer for the A's, one short of the Major League record for most in a single season, which is nine by the 1995 Indians.
"It was just a lot of fun," said Canha, who provided two of the eight walk-off homers on the season. "Fun the way to end it, it was a good day."
Robinson Cano tied the game in the eighth with a two-run homer off of A's reliever Chris Hatcher, snapping Hatcher's 12-inning scoreless streak and giving Cano his 23rd long ball.
A's starter Kendall Graveman finished the season with his third quality start of the month, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings. He went 2-0 in September in five starts, which included a rain-shortened two-inning start, allowing nine runs in 26 innings to finish the season.
"He had to work hard today," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "To come out of the game with a lead, to finish off the season in the fashion he did in his last several starts, it'll be good for him going to the offseason."
After Oakland scored twice in the first three innings via sac flies, Seattle slugger Nelson Cruz hit his 38th homer of the season, a two-run shot to left, to tie the game. With three games remaining, Cruz is now two shy of his fourth-consecutive 40-homer season.
But the A's answered in the bottom half of the fourth with three runs, capped off by Matt Joyce's RBI double, his third two-bagger of the game. The tallies were charged to Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez, who allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out two.
• Erasmo established as potential 2018 starter for Seattle
"Erasmo wasn't as sharp as he has been, and we didn't play great defense behind him," said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose club fell to 77-82 and is now guaranteed its sixth losing season in the past eight years.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Graveman dances out of 5th: After the A's scored three in the fourth, Seattle got one back in the fifth and had the tying run on base with two outs and Cano at the plate. Cano hit a grounder that bounced off first baseman Ryon Healy, but second baseman Franklin Barreto fielded the ball on a hop and threw to Graveman at first to end the inning.
Cano for the tie: The Mariners' second baseman ripped his 23rd homer of the season and 301st of his career with his game-tying two-run shot in the eighth off Hatcher. Cano caught a 95-mph fastball in a 1-0 count and drove it 422 feet, as projected by Statcast™. Cano is now tied with Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby for the second-most home runs by a second baseman in Major League history. Jeff Kent leads the way with 377 homers by a player who started the majority of his games at second base.
"Probably when I got a bloody nose warming up Erasmo in the bullpen." -- Mariners catcher Mike Marjama, on when the nerves hit him about making his first Major League start
"That's the personality of the team. If you're watching the game on TV and not part of the emotion, when Cano hits that home run, you really have to dust yourself off a little bit. We feel like we have the right guys in the game, we have a two-run lead, and now you're looking potentially at a sweep right in mouth again. To be able to recover like that and have Mark put one good swing on the ball, and I actually thought [Matt] Chapman's ball was out, too. Luckily, we finished it off." -- Melvin, on his team's fight in the late innings
"We're just going up there, we're having fun out there and we're playing with a lot of energy. I think when you're having fun and you have that kind of attitude of never panicking throughout the ballgame no matter what the score, that's the right mindset to have as a team." -- Canha
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The loss ended the Mariners' eight-game winning streak against the A's, their longest streak ever against their AL West rivals and the fourth-longest against any club. The franchise record is 10 straight against the Royals in 1985 and Orioles in 2000-01.
Seattle's two homers were the 206th and 207th that the A's have allowed on the season, a new Oakland record. The only season in franchise history with more is 1964, when the Kansas City A's gave up 220.
ANOTHER CRUZ CRUSH
Cruz's two-run home run in the fourth inning was a scorching 384-foot line drive that left the bat with a 116.8-mph exit velocity, per Statcast™, making it his hardest-hit homer and the hardest-hit by a Mariner since Statcast™ started in 2015. Cruz has Seattle's six hardest-hit homers in that span. Of Cruz's 38 home runs, 37 have come while he's been at designated hitter, tying him for the Mariners' club record set by Edgar Martinez in 2000. Cruz hit a 117.7-mph double on Sept. 14 in Texas, but his previous hardest-hit home run was a 116-mph laser on Aug. 18 at Tampa Bay.
"That's pretty hard," Servais said. "For us who get to watch him every day, it doesn't really surprise us anymore, how strong he is and how the ball jumps off his bat when he squares it up. We've seen a few of those this year. I don't know if there's been any at 117, but we've certainly seen a few hard-hit balls from him get over the fence. When he hit the ball, I thought it was going to hook foul, but it just didn't have time, it was hit that hard."
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mariners unsuccessfully challenged an out call at third on pinch-runner James Beckham on a key play in the top of the ninth. Beckham was running for Marjama after the rookie catcher doubled for his second hit of the game. He broke for third on a high chopper to shortstop Marcus Semien and tried to swim around the tag of third baseman Chapman. The out call stood after a two-minute, 30-second review.
"The replay call certainly didn't go in our favor," Servais said. "I guess it depends what color uniform you have on and how you saw the play. But I clearly saw it that the hand got in there. It was a big play in the game. Takes a guy out of scoring position against their closer. I thought we had a chance, we just didn't get it done."
"That shows you what replay means nowadays," Melvin said. "That goes from two outs and a man on first to one out, first and third. … An inch or two, on a play like that, makes a difference in the game."
Mariners: After their final off-day on Thursday, the Mariners open a three-game season-ending series in Anaheim on Friday at 7:07 p.m. PT, with rookie southpaw Marco Gonzales (1-1, 5.51 ERA) taking on Angels lefty Tyler Skaggs (2-6, 4.48 ERA).
A's: Left-hander Sean Manaea (11-10, 4.56 ERA) will take on the Rangers in Texas at 5:05 p.m. PT Thursday as the A's start their final series of the year. Manaea was scratched from his last scheduled start on Saturday with a sore back, but he is good to go for his final outing of 2017. He's 0-2 with a 6.50 ERA in three career starts at Globe Life Park.
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