Mark Canha celebrates after his double to lead of 10th vs. Dodgers. He would score winning run moments later on Billy Butler’s double.
Mark Canha’s season wasn’t supposed to go like this.
The A’s thought his right-handed power would be a good fit against left-handed pitching, but before Tuesday night he was hitting just .156 against lefties.
The Rule 5 pickup was earning his keep against right-handers, however, with a .279 average and all nine of his homers.
So it was something of a turnaround, if not outright surprise, to see Canha single twice in three at-bats against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw, widely regarded as the best left-handed starting pitcher in the game.
Kershaw has three Cy Young Awards, and while he didn’t get a win Tuesday, he looked every bit the part of the dominator he’s supposed to be.
For Canha, those two hits already are career highlights, even though his career is likely to last for many more years.
“It’s definitely the most memorable game we’ve played, for me,’’ Canha said. “It was awesome.
I’ve been to Dodger Stadium one time previously, during a family trip to Disneyland many years ago. But I forgot a lot of the characteristics. The media entrance takes you on to the 5th deck behind home plate. I thought my ears were gonna pop. … The A’s haven’t been here in quite some time either — the 2000 season to be exact.The forecast called for possible rain, but it’s warm. Perfect night for ball …
–More shuffling in the A’s batting order … Adam Kennedy is hitting leadoff like Sunday, but Kurt Suzuki has been moved back up to the No. 2 spot and Jack Cust is back hitting third. Orlando Cabrera is sixth. Bob Geren said he didn’t put Cust back in the ‘2’ hole because he didn’t want left-handed hitters batting back-to-back atop the order against Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw. Against righties, Geren said he might try Kennedy-Cust in the first two spots again. “I’m going to keep Cabrera down in the lineup,” Geren said, noting Suzuki’s .323 on-base percentage compared to Cabrera’s .280.
–Geren said he’s inclined to install Ryan Sweeney back as his regular center fielder once he’s activated from the DL. He’s eligible Thursday. It was worth asking the question since Rajai Davis has made some impact while filling in for him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the right-handed hitting Davis continue to play some against lefties, since Sweeney has been much more effective against right-handed pitchers.
Sweeney said he was feeling good before batting practice, and he was scheduled for full pre-game baseball activity, including tracking down balls hit to his left and right. He thinks that’s the big test for his left knee. He’s optimistic about possibly being ready Thursday.