A's rally on Canha's pinch-hit home run to beat Giants 4-3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Oakland Athletics slugger Mark Canha grew up a Giants fan and felt bad about flipping his bat after hitting a home run at AT&T Park, to the point where the Northern California native took to Twitter to issue an apology.
Then he took it all back.
Canha's go-ahead home run in the seventh inning was the difference as Oakland continued its late-game success, rallying to beat San Francisco 4-3 on Saturday night.
"He's a fiery guy," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He likes to try to fire the guys up and himself for sure. Everybody has their certain celebrations. It's not looked at like years ago when it was looked at a little bit differently."
Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien had two hits apiece. Khris Davis added a sacrifice fly to help the A's improve to 20-6 since June 16, tied with Boston for the best record in the majors during that stretch.
One night after being limited to three hits in a 7-1 loss, Oakland again struggled early until breaking out in the seventh.
Josh Phegley hit a leadoff single against Tony Watson (2-3). Canha followed with his 12th home run, a towering two-run blast, and emphatically flipped his bat and stared into the A's dugout before trotting around the bases.
It's Canha's first career pinch-hit home run and helped the A's avoid their first back-to-back losses since a season-high, four-game skid June 12-15.
"People getting offended by bat flips is so silly," Canha said. "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."
Buster Posey, Steven Duggar and Chase d'Arnaud had two hits apiece for the Giants.
"We were just missing that one more hit tonight," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. "You need a timely hit somewhere and their pitching did a pretty good job tonight."
Oakland has scored 173 runs in the seventh inning or later this season, tied with Houston for second-most in the majors.
Yusmeiro Petit (4-2) retired eight batters to win. All-Star closer Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his 24th save.
The A's needed it after started Brett Anderson failed to make it out of the fourth.
"When we have a full bullpen we can go to it early," Melvin said. "We get a lead, we feel pretty good about it."
The Giants led 3-2 after Gorkys Hernandez hit an RBI double and scored on pinch-hitter Austin Slater's single off Oakland starter Brett Anderson in the fourth.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was ejected after the bottom of the fourth inning and had to be physically restrained from going after third base umpire Greg Gibson. Belt was upset over being called out on a checked swing and argued with Gibson as he took the field between innings. Gibson immediately ejected Belt, who angrily slammed his glove to the ground and began walking toward the umpire before teammates intervened.
"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 on his deciding home run.
Athletics: All-Star 2B Jed Lowrie struck out looking as a pinch hitter in the ninth after being held out of the lineup with a bone bruise and calf bruise in his left leg following a scary collision with Piscotty in right field Friday. . Reliever Santiago Casilla was designated for assignment. ... 2B Franklin Barreto was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. RHP Ryan Dull was optioned down. RHP Daniel Mengden was sent to Nashville to begin a rehab assignment.
Oakland LHP Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.44 ERA) goes for his fourth consecutive win on Sunday. Manaea is holding opponents to a .217 average over his last seven starts. LHP Andrew Suarez (3-5 3.75), who has allowed two runs or fewer in his previous six starts, pitches for San Francisco.