A’s young bats drop hammer on Rangers


New A’s players made impressive debuts Wednesday, making plays that really counted.

Oakland first baseman Mark Canha and infielder Tyler Landendorf each played their first big league games, picking up multiple RBIs in Oakland’s 10-0 drubbing of the Texas Rangers.

In his first at bat, Canha smashed a double that could have just as easily been a grand slam. Manager Bob Melvin requested an umpires’ review, though it remained a double after a closer look. Three runs came across, and Canha himself would score two innings later in the fifth.

Canha said:

“From the angle that I was running, it looked like I might have hit off the wall and hit off one of the beams in the back there. … Just missed it.”

Melvin added:

“It’s pretty amazing. … It’s a great way to start, when you’re getting your first big league game, to get out and do that really allows you to relax a bit and feel like you belong.”

Landendorf had an equally impressive first outing. His first at bat became an RBI triple to the centerfield wall, knocking in shortstop Marcus Semien. It was a well hit ball, though Landendorf’s quick feet didn’t hurt.

Photos by Scot Tucker/SFBay

The tandem helped back up returning starter Scott Kazmir for the win, though he didn’t need much.

Kazmir struck out nine and allowed only one hit through six innings and lasted until the seventh, where he allowed two baserunners but no runs.

Kazmir said:

“I felt like everything was working well enough to where I could hump up (the velocity of pitches) if I needed to and still be under control. And it was earlier than I thought, because normally I like to work my way into the game.”

Kazmir’s final line: 7 innings, zero runs, 10 strikeouts and 1 hit allowed. It was a complete domination of the Rangers, who couldn’t get anything going all night.

Even on defense, several plays for Texas were either bad or horrible, and the A’s took full advantage of the four errors. Add one passed ball and a wild pitch, and the Rangers looked like a bad minor league ball club with no ceiling to speak of. The A’s even scored a run in the seventh without recording a hit.

Texas starter Ross Detwiler lasted only 4-1/3 innings, being charged with five of Oakland’s eight runs, striking out two and allowing 11 total baserunners.

The A’s needed a bit of a boost following a tough-luck loss Tuesday night that temporarily drained the life out of the clubhouse. They got everything they needed Wednesday.

Maybe it’d even be fair to call it in defense of their previous game. Only since the defense was so spectacular, it’s hard to imagine a team playing better. Kazmir was appreciative:

“Stuff like that fires up a pitcher. You see Brett (Lawrie) going out there and making that play, kind of scooping up that ball and it fires you up. That gets you going and you want to hurry up and get the next two outs so they can go out and hit.”

The night was special for Canha, who became only the second A’s player to notch four RBIs in his debut, the other being Ben Grieve against the Giants in 1997.

His parents, his wife, they got to see his excitement with one the best first major league outings in the last few decades.

Two A’s debuts were overshadowed by the exceptional play of others: Outfielder Cody Ross and catcher Josh Phegley.

Ross had a pair of RBIs, with one hit and a run, while Phegley scored once on one hit, in five at bats.

Also bouncing back was Lawrie, who struck out four times the night before, recorded three hits and one run. It was a nice redeeming performance from Lawrie who was noticeably upset the night before.

The A’s breakout games have helped them find their way into the lineup for the final game against the Rangers, who will be starting a right-hander.

Oakland will close out the four-game series with Texas Thursday afternoon at 12:35 p.m. with Kendall Graveman facing Nick Martinez.

Follow @SFBay and @LeskiwSFBay on Twitter and at SFBay.ca for full coverage of the Oakland Athletics.

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