Mark Canha scored Jed Lowrie with a go-ahead single in the top of the 11th and the A’s stashed a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Tuesday to open a three-game series in the Bronx.
That gave Oakland its third win a row and continued the A’s turnaround in one-run games in the early going of 2016. They improved to 5-3 in one-run games in taking the opener of this 10-game, three-city trek.
The teams traded runs through the early and middle innings, and then the night settled into a battle of the bullpens. The A’s were up to the task in that regard.
Five relievers combined for 5 1/3 scoreless innings, including two innings from Fernando Rodriguez (1-0) and the fifth save of the season for Ryan Madson.
Canha, buried on the bench as the A’s have gone with others against a slew of opposing right-handers, knocked his game-winning single to left off Johnny Barbato (1-1), a ball that just eluded the diving attempt of Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius.
Lowrie went 4-for-5 for the A’s with two runs and an RBI.
Starting pitching report
Eric Surkamp got over a hump as he pitched beyond the fifth inning for the first time in three starts with Oakland. The lefty’s 5 2/3-inning effort wasn’t a particularly flashy start, but the score was 2-2 when he left and he kept Melvin from calling on his bullpen too early. All in all, a successful evening for the No. 5 starter.
The depth of the A’s bullpen really shines through in games like Tuesday’s. Marc Rzepczynski, John Axford and Sean Doolittle also had a hand in the effort.
At the plate
The A’s generated 11 hits. They got a one-out triple from Billy Burns in the fifth but left him stranded at third as Chris Coghlan went down swinging and Josh Reddick broke his bat on a fly out to right.
After the Yankees jumped in front with a run in the first, the A’s answered when Marcus Semien got the green light on 3-0 and drilled a single to left to score Jed Lowrie. The A’s responded again after New York went back up in the bottom of the fifth. Danny Valencia led off the sixth with a triple that deflected off the glove of a lunging Brett Gardner in left-center. Lowrie drove him home with a one-out single, one of four hits the second baseman had on the night.
Khris Davis, after sitting Sunday, was back in the lineup as the designated hitter and endured his third three-strikeout game in the A’s first 14 contests.
In the field
What a half-inning Danny Valencia had at third base in the bottom of the sixth. First he made a diving backhanded snare of Aaron Hicks’ liner to rob him of extra bases. With a man on first, he nearly had another terrific play. But after scooping up Didi Gregorius’ chopper to his left, he threw to second from his knees and pulled Jed Lowrie off the bag for an error that extended the inning and ended Surkamp’s night.
Gregorius, the Yankees shortstop, turned in two excellent plays on grounders hit his way in the seventh.
The announced crowd was 31,952.
Kendall Graveman (0-1, 2.38) will take the mound Wednesday looking to snap a six-game losing streak dating back to last season. The Yankees counter with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (0-1, 6.94). First pitch is 4:05 p.m.