OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Mark Canha couldn’t tell exactly what the pitch was coming at him was. All the 28-year-old outfielder knows for sure is where it landed.
Canha hit a game-ending home run in the ninth inning to lead the Oakland Athletics past the Seattle Mariners 6-5 on Wednesday.
Canha’s drive to left, his fifth this season, came on a belt-high, 1-0 cut fastball from Shae Simmons (0-1).
It was his second walk-off homer this season and Oakland’s eighth.
Oakland avoided a three-game sweep and snapped an eight-game losing streak to Seattle.
“I don’t know, it was one of those things,” Canha said. “It happened so fast, and I just saw it really well. I think it just says that I was in a good position and saw it well, and that’s all that mattered.”
The A’s improved to 15-10 in September, clinching their first winning month since April of 2016. They won 15 games in a month for the first time since June 2015.
“For a lot of reasons, we wanted to win today,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
“We’ve had a good thing going here recently. We’ve been consistent at home all year. To get swept in the last series at home would’ve been disheartening for what we’ve had going on. And of course, we want to win for our fans on the last day here.”
Matt Joyce tied an A’s record with three doubles.
Blake Treinen (3-4) pitched a scoreless ninth, working around a one-out double by rookie Mike Marjama.
The A’s led 5-3 going into the top of the eighth, when Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer off Chris Hatcher.
Cano’s 23rd homer was Seattle’s second game-tying home run on the day. The Mariners trailed 2-0 when Nelson Cruz hit his team-leading 38th homer, a two-run shot off Kendall Graveman in the top of the fourth.
Graveman left the game with a 5-3 lead and was in line to win his fourth straight decision. Oakland’s ace struck out four and gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk in six innings.
“We had quite a run going against Oakland,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We had beaten them seven or eight times in a row. It’s hard to keep that going.”
PROTESTING IN TEXAS
Asked whether he has concerns about catcher Bruce Maxwell taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in this weekend’s road series against the Rangers, A’s manager Bob Melvin said he’ll have a better sense of the atmosphere once his team gets to Texas.
“I don’t think it’ll bother him, put it that way,” Melvin said. “He’s pretty committed to what he’s doing and continues to do so and he’ll do it in Texas.”
Marjama made his first career start. The 28-year-old catcher was 2 for 4, collecting his first major league hits on a day that began inauspiciously, with Marjama getting a bloody nose while warming up starter Erasmo Ramirez before the game.
“I had a big old gauze thing in my nose. I was like, ‘You know what? This just has to slow it down right now a little bit,'” Marjama said. “Pretty incredible to be out there with these guys doing it for the first start. It was a lot of fun.”
Mariners: OF Guillermo Heredia left the team and is expected to have surgery to repair a right shoulder injury he’s been playing with all year. Heredia, who bats and throws left-handed, will get a second opinion before having the procedure performed by a specialist in Miami, Servais said.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (1-1, 5.51 ERA) will pitch Friday’s series opener against the Angels in Los Angeles. The 24-year-old rookie is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (11-10, 4.56) will pitch Thursday’s series opener in Texas. Manaea missed his last start with upper back tightness. The 25-year-old is 1-1 with a 6.10 ERA in six career starts against the Rangers.
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