James Kaprielian pitched another gem on Sunday that wasn’t backed up by runs.
Despite Kaprielian striking out a career-high 10 batters, the Athletics fell to the Boston Red Sox, 1-0, losing the series. The A's finished the day with only four hits. Oakland's offense has been lacking, and having outfielder Mark Canha out of the lineup doesn’t help either.
“He’s a big part of our lineup,” A's manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s not great having a guy that kind of sets the table and knocks in runs when the bottom of the lineup's getting on, you just have to move some guys around, do things differently, but we’re going to have to be without him for a little bit longer.
"Hopefully not too much longer.”
Canha is dealing with some left hip tendinitis and landed on the 10-day injured list on June 25, and Melvin recently said it would be a stretch to see Canha return prior to the All-Star break.
The A’s have lost 10 of their last 14 games.
“He’s a very valuable piece for us,” Melvin said.
With his absence, Tony Kemp has received starts in the outfield. He has fared well, but Canha’s 69 hits on the season with his ability to get on base and is a noticeable absence.
Chad Pinder has started some games in the outfield as well and agreed with Melvin that when Canha’s away, you can feel it.
“I think that’s an understatement,” Pinder said. “Having Mark in the lineup anywhere -- it’s leadoff, two-hole, obviously he’s been our leadoff hitter all year. Having Mark in our lineup, what he does, getting on base, being able to drive in runs, score, produce runs, stealing bases, he really is the spark plug for us, and until he gets back, we’re really going to have to find ways to replace that and pick up the slack.
“You would be right to say that. Not having Mark in our lineup, it’s shown a little bit.”
The A’s head to Houston next to face the Astros for a four-game series starting on Tuesday.