Chris Sale Historic, But A’s Make It Memorable with 3-2 Extra Innings Walk-off Over Red Sox

May 19, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics’ Mark Canha smiles as he does an interview after being hit in the face with shaving cream following his solo walk-off home run during the 10th inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox on Friday, May 19, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. Oakland won 3-2. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By Matthew Harrington

OAKLAND–The Oakland Athletics survived becoming history at the hands of Chris Sale, then walked off to a 3-2 win against the Boston Red Sox Friday night at the Oakland Coliseum. Mark Canha opened the bottom of the tenth inning with a moonshot to left field to win the game after tripling in a run in the fifth inning. Khris Davis doubled home a run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game 2-2.

Boston scored first in the fourth on a two run homer by Mitch Moreland, with the two runs looming large with ace Chris Sale on the mound. Sale pitched seven innings of 10 strikeout ball, his eighth straight game with ten-plus K’s, but wound up with the no-decision. Sale has now performed the feat twice, joining only Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez.

Moreland hit his second homer in as many nights, taking starter Kendall Graveman deep to the stairs in right field, plating Xander Bogaerts in the process for a 2-0 Boston lead. Graveman would settle down against a deep Red Sox lineup though, throwing six innings and striking out five. He’d turn the game over to Ryan Madson, Liam Hendriks, Santiago Casilla and winning pitcher Ryan Dull (2-2, 6.32 ERA) who all threw scoreless innings.

The A’s rallied back on after Ryon Healy singled with one out. Canha hit a fly ball to right that Mookie Betts took a bad route to, allowing Healy to score and Canha to reach third. Sale would punch out Chad Pinder then get Josh Phegley to fly out to end the inning.

Oakland wasn’t done yet though, with Rajai Davis opening the sixth with a single. After Sale coaxed a pop out from Rosales, Jed Lowrie singled to move Davis over to second. Davis then unleashed a ringing double to score Davis and put Lowrie at third, tying the game in the process. Sale would strike out Plouffe and Healy to keep the game tied.

After Joe Kelly pitched a scoreless eighth, Sox manager John Farrell tabbed closer Craig Kimbrel with the ninth. The former All-Star got two quick outs, but nearly wound up the loser after Healy connected on a deep drive to center field. Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. had other ideas though, tracking the ball all the way to the wall then leapt and stretch to his left, pulling the game-winning bid into his mitt to save the game, for an inning at least.

“I thought it was out. I thought it was a home run,” said Canha. “You never expect a guy to jump up and make an amazing play like that. But then when it happened, I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, it’s Jackie Bradley out there.’”

With Heath Hembree (0-2, 4.29) inserted into the game, Canha teed off on the first pitch he saw. Canha gave Oakland its fourth walk-off win of the year, blasting his second homer of the year in the process.

“I couldn’t even tell you what pitch it was unless I saw the replay,” said Canha. “It just kind of popped out of his hand, and I saw it really well and put a good swing on it.”

The Sox look for revenge Saturday with Drew Pomeranz, a former A’s starter and reliever, on the bump. Lefty Sean Manaea looks to give Oakland the series win.

 

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