Athletics

A's vs. Blue Jays lineups: Oakland tries to avoid laying egg on Easter

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AP

A's vs. Blue Jays lineups: Oakland tries to avoid laying egg on Easter

The A's have only won one of four home games since returning from their nine-game road trip, and they'll try to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

Oakland might have the right man taking the mound in left-hander Brett Anderson (3-0, 2.62 ERA) to get the team back on the winning track, as he's arguably been the A's top starter in the early portion of the season.

The Blue Jays, meanwhile, will counter with right-hander Aaron Sanchez (2-1, 2.86), who is coming off a start in which he gave up four earned runs and two home runs in six innings.

This will be the first-ever Easter meeting between Oakland and Toronto. The A's have a 13-17 record on Easter since moving to Oakland in 1968, including a 10-12 record at the Coliseum.

Here are the full lineups for Sunday's A's-Blue Jays game:

Oakland Athletics (11-12)
LF Robbie Grossman
SS Marcus Semien
3B Matt Chapman
DH Khris Davis
1B Kendrys Morales
RF Stephen Piscotty
2B Jurickson Profar
CF Ramon Laureano
C Nick Hundley

Brett Anderson, LHP (3-0, 2.62 ERA)

[RELATED: Piscotty calls out fan who ran on field, interrupted game]

Toronto Blue Jays (10-12)
2B Alen Hanson
SS Freddy Galvis
CF Randal Grichuk
1B Justin Smoak
LF Teoscar Hernandez
3B Brandon Drury
DH Rowdy Tellez
C Danny Jansen
RF Billy McKinney

Aaron Sanchez, RHP (2-1, 2.86 ERA)

Mark Canha continues Khris Davis impression in A's win vs. Mariners

Mark Canha continues Khris Davis impression in A's win vs. Mariners

OAKLAND — Make no mistake, Mark Canha is not Khris Davis. But, he sure can do a pretty good Khris Davis impression.

Canha homered for the third straight game Friday night, his sixth round-tripper in nine contests since returning from a sprained wrist, as the A's beat the Mariners 6-2 for their seventh consecutive win.

"It always helps when somebody gets on a hot streak," Canha said after the game. "It always helps when you have that one guy where you're like, 'Yeah, he's up!' That kind of happens for different guys at different times and I think it just happens to be right now. This is me kind of knocking on wood and hoping I can keep it going."

Before the game, the A's officially placed Davis on the 10-day injured list with a left hip/oblique contusion. With the reigning home run-champion out of the lineup, Oakland desperately needed someone to fill the void.

Enter Canha.

"I guess you could say it's timely," Canha said of his hot streak. "It's good that I'm filling his shoes. I'm just trying to be Khris Davis right now and this is my best version of it."

A's manager Bob Melvin has certainly taken notice of Canha's recent power surge and hopes to see it continue in Davis' absence.

"It's a lot of homers," Melvin marveled. "If you're looking for a replacement for Khris, that's the guy. He feels good at the plate. He's getting good swings, he's seeing some pitches, taking some walks. It's good, really good."

Friday also marked Canha's third straight game as the A's designated hitter. Many players struggle in that role, at least initially, as it can be challenging to stay mentally sharp between at-bats.

Clearly, that has not been the case for Canha.

"I really like it," he said. "I like not having to run out there on the field. It's nice to just kind of hang out in the dugout and wait for my at-bat to happen. I'm enjoying my time as a designated hitter so far."

[RELATED: A's play song off 'Bash Brothers' album at Coliseum]

It's not like Canha is just hitting home runs. The 30-year-old has raised his on-base percentage to .353, third-best on the A's, and his .953 OPS leads the team and ranks seventh in the American League. 

"I'm in my fifth year now and I think I'm just getting better," Canha said. "I've learned a lot in my career and now I'm being given some time, and I think I'm just getting better as I've matured as a hitter."

A's play The Lonely Island’s ‘Bash Brothers Experience' song at Coliseum

A's play The Lonely Island’s ‘Bash Brothers Experience' song at Coliseum

The Lonely Island's tribute to the Bash Brothers is unauthorized, but it does seem to be A's-approved. 

The A's tweeted at the comedy trio about "The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience," their musical tribute/send-up of Oakland icons Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire, on Thursday night.

The "visual poem" dropped on Netflix early Thursday morning, one day before the A's returned the favor when they opened a nine-game homestand Friday night at the Coliseum. First, the A's tweeted a reference to "Let's Bash." one of the tracks from the special.

Later in the game, the Coliseum actually played one. With a sign featuring Andy Samberg (as Canseco) and Akiva Schaffer (as McGwire) wearing silk robes and kimonos shown on the video board, "Oakland Nights" played over the Coliseum speakers.

The A's have bashed after hitting homers earlier in the season, but Mark Canha and some of his teammates did put their arms up like they were about to drink from a cup after his solo shot in the fourth inning. Canha told NBC Sports California's Ben Ross before the game that he had not seen the whole special, but said he was a fan of what he had seen so far.

"I've watched the two music videos," Canha said Friday. "I tried listening to some of the album today. It's funny. I'd like to engage with those guys about it on social media. I'm thinking of how I'm going to work that in. I heard through the grapevine that Andy Samberg is from the area, so that's cool.

"I think it's awesome. It's a nice tribute to [Canseco and McGwire] who are obviously legends in this area. It's nice that they're paying homage to them in a funny way. It's awesome."

[RELATED: A's stay red hot, open homestand with big win over Mariners]

Samberg isn't the only member of The Lonely Island from the East Bay. He, Schaffer and Jorma Taccone -- who cameos as another 1980s Bay Area sports legend in the credits of the special -- all grew up together in Berkeley.

Seeing their childhood team reference their work surely tops their list of Bay bona fides.