Last year, during the Bay Bridge Series, Mark Canha stole the show when he flipped his bat and shouted, “This is my house!” as he approached first base. Last night, he let his bat fly once again after taking Madison Bumgarner deep in a key spot. Today, Canha attempted to steal the show once more, but the Giants jumped on the stage late to take the spotlight for themselves.
The Giants’ plan of attack was to swing early and often against Brett Anderson, and, sure enough, the A’s lefty found trouble in each of the first three innings. He was able to escape the jam in the first inning, thanks in large part to a strong running catch from Canha near the wall in center. In the second, Kevin Pillar just missed a home run off of the high wall in left center field to start the frame with a double. He would be scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Stephen Vogt. A walk and two singles scored one more run later in the frame.
Fortunately, the A’s had a response in the bottom half of the inning. After going deep to left field yesterday, Canha started the A’s scoring by homering down the right field line today.
Jurickson Profar, in the DH spot in lieu of a struggling Khris Davis, beat the shift with a squib double down the left field line to keep the pressure on the Giants’ starter Logan Webb. Corban Joseph followed that with a bloop double further down the left field line to tie the game. Chad Pinder got the A’s fourth hit in a row on a ground ball single up the middle to score Joseph and give the A’s a 3-2 lead.
Anderson’s struggles ensured the A’s lead wouldn’t hold for long, as Evan Longoria tied the game on a solo home run to center field in the third inning. But the team retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Of course, it was none other than Canha taking Webb deep on the first pitch he saw in the inning to put the team on his shoulders and give the A’s a 4-3 lead.
For a while, both teams calmed down. Each starter would be removed from the game, making it a battle of the bullpens. On the day, the A’s scored four runs on six hits, with two walks and two strikeouts in 4.2 innings against Webb. Anderson pitched six innings and allowed three runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Jake Diekman entered the game to relieve Anderson in the top of the seventh inning.
An error, a walk, and a hit batsman loaded the bases, and Blake Treinen was brought in to clean up the no-out mess. Facing Buster Posey, Treinen battled for eleven pitches before getting a strikeout. Unfortunately, it was then Longoria, who tied things up with a home run in the third, who hit a ground ball between Matt Chapman and Marcus Semien for a two run single that gave the Giants another late lead, 5-4.
The A’s were quiet in the seventh. The bats couldn’t do anything in the eighth. It all came down to the bottom three in the batting order in the bottom of the ninth, the team still down 5-4. Josh Phegley managed to hit a double, but Semien behind him couldn’t get the key hit to tie the game.
Despite playing some great baseball of late, the A’s get swept at home and lose the Bay Bridge Series in its second iteration. The team gets a chance to pick up the pieces against the Royals tomorrow.