Athletics

A's free-admission game in April will be one-of-a-kind promotion

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A's free-admission game in April will be one-of-a-kind promotion

The A’s announced details for one of the more unique promotions in the major leagues this upcoming season.

Their April 17 game against the Chicago White Sox at the Coliseum — played on the 50th anniversary of their first game in Oakland — will be completely free admission for fans.  They originally unveiled the idea back in September. On Wednesday, they announced fans can sign up for tickets Jan. 10 starting at 8 a.m. at athletics.com/50.

Current season ticket holders don’t need to sign up. Tickets for that game will automatically be loaded on to their accounts.

“We are extremely excited to offer this gift to the city as we celebrate 50 years in Oakland,” A’s president Dave Kaval said in a club statement. “The entire 2018 season will be a celebration of the A’s rich history, and offering the first free MLB game is another unique way for us to celebrate our team and wonderful fans.”

According to an A's spokesperson, Major League Baseball has no other record of a free-admission game being held, aside from some instances of rainouts and makeup games. And the A’s caught some good fortune with the schedule. The White Sox wouldn’t be a big draw as a visiting team, particularly on a Tuesday night, which is when this anniversary game falls. So the A’s at least have a chance to generate some buzz on what would otherwise be a humdrum date on their home schedule.

Some other highlights worth noting from the A’s 2018 schedule:

Their March 29 season opener against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels will be their first home opener played in the afternoon since 1994. First pitch will be at 1:05.

This year’s Bay Bridge Series against the Giants, rather than be played as a four-game series, will be a six-game set that sandwiches the All-Star break. Three games will take place at AT&T Park on July 13-15, then the A’s will host three July 20-22.

A's outfielder Mark Canha: 'I'm not really sorry' about bat flip in Bay Bridge Series

A's outfielder Mark Canha: 'I'm not really sorry' about bat flip in Bay Bridge Series

Mark Canha is Bay Area born and bred. The San Jose native played college baseball at the University of California, Berkeley and has many fond memories going to games at AT&T Park. 

No memory is greater for Canha than what he did to the Giants on Saturday night. 

With the A's down 3-2 to the Giants in the top of the seventh inning in Game 2 of the Bay Bridge Series, Canha came off the bench and unloaded on a 93 mph fastball from Tony Watson to hit a two-run shot halfway up the left-field bleachers. The blast gave the A's a 4-3 lead and eventual win. 

What really grabbed headlines though was Canha's celebration. In more of a bat toss than flip, Canha flipped the script on the Giants and showed exactly how much this Bay Bridge Series means to him. 

And he has a message for those who think he somehow disrespected a game by having fun. 

"People getting offended by bat flips is so silly. I'm not sorry. I'm not really sorry. It's part of our game. Everybody does it," Canha said after the A's win. 

Will the Giants look for retribution and throw at Canha when he steps to the plate on Sunday? Canha couldn't care less. 

"If somebody's gonna throw at me -- I've been thrown at in the past, this season. I clearly didn't learn my lesson. So if you're offended by that, I don't care," Canha. 

The versatile outfielder is now batting .259 with 12 home runs and a .797 OPS this season. 

A's tie up Bay Bridge Series with win at AT&T Park

A's tie up Bay Bridge Series with win at AT&T Park

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pinch-hitter Mark Canha hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning and the Oakland Athletics continued their late-game success, rallying to beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Saturday night.

Stephen Piscotty and Marcus Semien had two hits apiece. Khris Davis added a sacrifice fly to help the A's improve to 20-6 since June 16, tied with Boston for the best record in the majors during that stretch.

Buster Posey, Steven Duggar and Chase d'Arnaud had two hits apiece for the Giants.

One night after being limited to three hits in a 7-1 loss, Oakland again struggled early until breaking out in the seventh.

Josh Phegley hit a leadoff single against Tony Watson (2-3). Canha followed with his 12th home run, a towering two-run blast, and emphatically flipped his bat and stared into the A's dugout before trotting around the bases.

It's Canha's first career pinch-hit home run and helped the A's avoid their first back-to-back losses since a season-high, four-game skid June 12-15.

Oakland has scored 173 runs in the seventh inning or later this season, tied with Houston for second-most in the majors.

Yusmeiro Petit (4-2) retired eight batters to win. All-Star closer Blake Treinen pitched the ninth for his 24th save.

The Giants led 3-2 after Gorkys Hernandez hit an RBI double and scored on pinch-hitter Austin Slater's single off Oakland starter Brett Anderson in the fourth.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt was ejected after the bottom of the fourth inning and had to be physically restrained from going after third base umpire Greg Gibson. Belt was upset over being called out on a checked swing and argued with Gibson as he took the field between innings. Gibson immediately ejected Belt, who angrily slammed his glove to the ground and began walking toward the umpire before teammates intervened.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Athletics: All-Star 2B Jed Lowrie struck out looking as a pinch hitter in the ninth after being held out of the lineup with a bone bruise and calf bruise in his left leg following a scary collision with Piscotty in right field Friday. . Reliever Santiago Casilla was designated for assignment. . 2B Franklin Barreto was recalled from Triple-A Nashville. RHP Ryan Dull was optioned down. RHP Daniel Mengden was sent to Nashville to begin a rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

Oakland LHP Sean Manaea (8-6, 3.44 ERA) goes for his fourth consecutive win on Sunday. Manaea is holding opponents to a .217 average over his last seven starts. LHP Andrew Suarez (3-5 3.75), who has allowed two runs or fewer in his previous six starts, pitches for San Francisco.