OAKLAND –- Mark Canha drilled a two-out double that scored Sam Fuld in the bottom of the 10th to give the A’s a 2-1 walkoff win against the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Canha, who entered as a replacement for the injured Josh Reddick in the fifth, entered the day hitting just .077 (2-for-26) in 10 games since the All-Star break. But after Fuld singled with two outs off Cody Allen, Canha worked the count to 3-1 and lined one off the wall in left-center and Fuld scored easily to give Canha his first career walkoff RBI.
His reward – a Gatorade shower from Billy Butler and Brett Lawrie as he conducted a postgame TV interview.
The victory allowed the A’s to split-the four game series with Cleveland after dropping the first two. Sunday was another day of sparse offense for Oakland, which got seven innings of one-run ball from ace Sonny Gray. But the A’s did enough to pull off their fourth walkoff win of the season.
The A’s lost Reddick in the bottom of the fifth, when he left the game with lower back tightness. Canha pinch-hit for him and stayed in the game in the outfield, with Sam Fuld shifting from left field to right field. There was no immediate word on the seriousness of Reddick’s condition.
Starting pitching report
Coming off his second shutout in a four-start span, Gray shook off a sluggish first and lasted seven innings, giving just one run on four hits. He walked four, including two in the first when Cleveland scored its only run off him. But Gray settled in after that and struck out seven, consistently getting hitters to chase his breaking stuff out of the strike zone. He lowered his ERA from 2.16 to 2.12, and that mark trails only former teammate Scott Kazmir’s 2.10 for best in the American League.
The lowest season-long ERA by an A’s starter in the designated hitter era is Steve McCatty’s 2.33 mark in 1981.
Lefty Fernando Abad continued his resurgence from his wobbly start to the season. He retired all four batters he faced Sunday, bridging the eighth and ninth innings, and struck out two. Abad hasn’t allowed a run over his past 10 outings. Fernando Rodriguez did well to strand a runner at third in the 10th by striking out Francisco Lindor. That was after Michael Bourn was ruled safe at second on a controversial play where it was ruled second baseman Eric Sogard missed a tag on him.
At the plate
The A’s only run in regulation came via a two-out rally off Trevor Bauer in the fifth. Eric Sogard and Marcus Semien both walked and Billy Burns punched an opposite-field RBI single to left to tie it 1-1.
In the field
Reddick’s running catch in the top of the fifth was part of a fine overall defensive day for Oakland, though it’s possible that’s when the outfielder hurt himself. Reddick ran a long way to catch Mike Aviles’ foul pop, but he then had to put the breaks on to avoid colliding with the visitors’ bullpen and danced around a folding chair to stay on his feet.
The A’s turned three double plays in support of Gray, two started by shortstop Marcus Semien and one by first baseman Ike Davis.
The announced turnout was 21,498.
The Orioles make their only visit to the Coliseum for a three-game series. Monday – Jesse Chavez (5-10, 3.53) vs. Chris Tillman (8-7, 4.35), 7:05 p.m. Tuesday – Chris Bassitt (0-4, 3.10) vs. Miguel Gonzalez (9-7, 4.28), 7:05 p.m. Wednesday – Kendall Graveman (6-7, 3.84) vs. lefty Wei-Yin Chen (5-6, 3.24), 12:35 p.m. The entire series will air on CSN California.