Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Canha sorry (not sorry) after bat flip, emotion

Hometown hero's pinch-hit moonshot propels A's over Bay Area rival
MLB.com @JaneMLB

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was decidedly demolished, and Mark Canha knew it. His drop of the bat, subtle yet searing, said so.

Canha's first career pinch-hit home run -- a go-ahead, two-run blast off lefty Tony Watson in the seventh inning -- catapulted the A's to a crucial victory that evened this Bay Bridge Series on Saturday night.

View Full Game Coverage

SAN FRANCISCO -- It was decidedly demolished, and Mark Canha knew it. His drop of the bat, subtle yet searing, said so.

Canha's first career pinch-hit home run -- a go-ahead, two-run blast off lefty Tony Watson in the seventh inning -- catapulted the A's to a crucial victory that evened this Bay Bridge Series on Saturday night.

View Full Game Coverage

Their 4-3 win over the Giants in the middle matchup of this three-game set at AT&T Park, combined with a Mariners loss in Colorado, has them positioned just four games back of the second American League Wild Card spot.

And Canha, who grew up just one hour south of this ballpark, is pumped -- his 12th homer responsible.

"It means a lot to me," the San Jose native said. "It might be my favorite one to date. I came to this park as a kid a lot, and it's just going to be fun to go brag to all my Giants fans and say that I did that after having a lot of really great childhood memories here."

Canha did his homework before meeting the media postgame, coming forth with an apology to those rattled, irked and angered by his teeny toss of the bat following his Statcast-estimated 434-foot homer.

"Growing up in San Jose and being a Giants fan and coming to all those games as a kid, it was nice to finally pop one and, given the situation, I was excited," he said. "So I got on Twitter and got out in front of this a little bit. I'm sure a lot of San Franciscans are offended by that, and I'm sorry."

Then he took it all back.

Tweet from @Athletics: 🎶Baby I'm sorry! (I'M NOT SORRY!)🎶- @outtadapakmark https://t.co/4RWc0OV2Uo

"You know what, people getting offended by bat flips is so silly," Canha said. "I'm not sorry. I'm not really sorry. It's part of our game. Everybody does it. If someone is going to throw at me because of it, I've got thrown at in the past this season for bat flipping. I clearly didn't learn my lesson. If you're offended by that, I don't care."

Winners of 20 of their last 26 games, these A's are unapologetically confident. They're having fun, too.

"He's gotten to be pretty emotional about them," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Canha. "And he's a fiery guy. When we first got him, we really didn't know that, but it's come out since. He likes to try to fire the guys up, and himself, for sure. Everybody has their certain celebrations."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The 'pen is mightier: The A's overcame a short start from Brett Anderson to lock down their 54th win. The lefty was knocked around for eight hits in just 3 1/3 innings, leading to three runs opposite former A's starter Jeff Samardzija, who wasn't around much longer, going four with two runs allowed on a pair of sacrifice fly balls from Josh Phegley and Khris Davis.

Video: OAK@SF: Phegley opens the scoring with a sac fly

A battle of the bullpens ensued, the A's prevailing behind their tried-and-true trio. After Yusmeiro Petit delivered 2 2/3 scoreless innings, rookie sensation Lou Trivino secured two more, and All-Star Blake Treinen worked around two walks to notch his 24th save. They combined for eight strikeouts.

Video: OAK@SF: Treinen secures his 24th save with a K

"We get a lead, we feel pretty good about it," Melvin said. "Trivino's really made us who we are now. Blake's been terrific all year, but when we got Trivino and put him in that eighth-inning role, it's been a different bullpen since. He's a killer out there."

Video: OAK@SF: Trivino gets Posey to whiff for a strikeout

SOUND SMART
The A's are the only team in the Majors that's undefeated when leading after seven innings, improving to 37-0.

HE SAID IT
"When it's cold, you hope to just get it over the fence, and he hit it more than halfway up. He's making the most of his opportunity. Doesn't start with us and puts up the numbers he has. Now he hits righties, he hits lefties, he's versatile in the outfield, he can play all three, he can play first base, too. It's not easy to pinch-hit. We do a fair amount of pinch-hitting, but when it's cold and a National League scenario like that, it can be tough and he was ready for it." -- Melvin, on Canha

UP NEXT
Lefty Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.44 ERA) will take the mound in Sunday's 1:05 p.m. PT matchup with the host Giants to close out the first half. The Giants will counter with southpaw Andrew Suarez (3-5, 3.75 ERA) in the finale of the San Francisco portion of the Bay Bridge Series.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.

Oakland Athletics, Brett Anderson, Mark Canha