SEATTLE -- Mark Canha wasn't sure how high the bat flip was. He was just strolling down the first-base line with a lot of adrenaline running through his veins.
Canha hit a tie-breaking home run off Seattle closer Edwin Diaz to lead off the ninth inning, and the Athletics snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday night at Safeco Field.
An inning earlier, Jed Lowrie made sure Seattle ace left-hander James Paxton's 16-strikeout outing, most in a big league game this season, went for naught. He hit a two-run home run off reliever Juan Nicasio to tie the game at 2.
"It didn't look too good for us early on, but that is why you keep playing," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Obviously Paxton had great stuff tonight and was handing it to us. I lost count of the strikeouts on my card.
"But that is why you play 27 outs."
Canha jumped on Diaz's first pitch, a 95 mph fastball, and hit a laser-beam shot over the left-field scoreboard.
"It feels great," Canha said. "It felt like a game we kind of needed to win."
After his blast, Canha excitedly flipped the bat well over his head as he started his jog around the bases.
"When you hit a ninth-inning homer, you get a little adrenaline pumping," Canha said.
Seattle threatened to regain the lead in the eighth inning off Oakland closer Blake Treinen (2-1), loading the bases with one out. But Treinen struck out Nelson Cruz and Mitch Haniger to leave them stranded. Treinen wiggled out of another bases-loaded jam in the ninth by getting Jean Segura to ground out to Matt Chapman at third base to end the game.
What the Athletics also might have found is another candidate to become a permanent member of their rotation.
Making his first appearance for Oakland since the 2013 American League Division Series, left-hander Brett Anderson was more than serviceable in 6 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on five hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He threw 80 pitches, 50 for strikes.
"Their guy [Paxton] was outstanding, probably the toughest no-decision I've ever seen," Anderson said. "I was kind of amped up. After I gave up a couple of runs, I kind of settled in."
Anderson gave up a solo home run to former Athletic Ryon Healy to lead off the third inning, and an RBI single to Segura three batters later. After that, Anderson retired the next 11 Mariners before Haniger hit a single to center field with one out in the seventh inning. Anderson left after giving up a single to the next batter, Kyle Seager.
"We had a guy on our side that kept low key, and kept us in the game," Lowrie said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Canha's game-winning home run in the ninth will get much of the attention, but Lowrie's game-tying home run to right center off Nicasio in the eighth gave the Athletics life. It was Lowrie's team-leading eighth home run of the season.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Yes, Jake Smolinski has wheels in center field. He took a hit away from Seattle's red-shot leadoff hitter Dee Gordon to start the game in the left-center gap, diving for the catch right at the feet of left-fielder Chad Pinder for the out. There was a 6 percent probability Smolinski would make that catch, according to Statcast™.
HE SAID IT
"Paxton was just gross today" -- Canha
MITEL REPLAYS OF THE DAY
The Athletics lost two replay challenges in the final two innings. The first one came on Lowrie's tag of Segura on a double to center field in the eighth inning. He was initially called out, but Segura clearly got to the bag first and it was overturned.
The final one came in the ninth when Gordon was called out on a grounder to Lowrie. That was also overturned, as replays showed Gordon beat Lowrie's throw to first, loading the bases.
Left-handed ace Sean Manaea (4-2, 1.03 ERA) was just named AL Pitcher of the Month for April, and will begin May with his second start against the Mariners on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. PT. He gave up one run in seven innings in Oakland's 2-1 win on April 15, and threw a no-hitter vs. Boston in the start before that. Wade LeBlanc makes his first start of 2018 for Seattle.