NEW YORK -- Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin conceded Mark Canha was getting the "short end of the straw" for his lack of playing time
So before Tuesday's game, he had a pep talk with Canha to re-assure him about his role.
Then Melvin did not do Canha any favors by sending him up to face Andrew Miller in the ninth inning.
Two innings later, Canha helped the Athletics get a 3-2 victory over the New York Yankees when he delivered the game-winning single with two outs in the top of the 11th.
"He hasn't played in a while and it's not like I gave him a day at the beach with his first at-bat, Melvin said. "But we've seen him come up big for us before. It was a huge at-bat for us today."
Canha came through in his 14th at-bat of the season and before Tuesday had appeared in one of Oakland's previous eight games. After striking out against Miller for the first out of the ninth, he came up against rookie Johnny Barbato (1-1) with Jed Lowrie on third base.
"His slider, I didn't even see it," Canha said. "He's a tough guy to come in but then I think you have at-bats like that sometimes, it kind of locks you in the next one. You kind of know what you have to see the ball better and I just kind of made an adjustment for that second and I think it helped."
After count reached 0-2 but on the third pitch of the at-bat, Canha showed he was seeing Barbato's pitches better by hitting a single off shortstop Didi Gregorius and into left field as Lowrie capped his four-hit night by scoring the winning run. It was Canha's fourth career extra innings hit and his second hit of the season.
"It feels great, especially with the way I've been hitting," Canha said. "Obviously with the way I've been struggling it feels good just to contribute."
"He did a great job coming through, an 0-2 pitch, handling a good pitch and getting it through where they're not," Oakland catcher Stephen Vogt said.
Canha's hit capped Oakland's fifth one-run win of the season, something it did not get until June 16 last season. Eight of Oakland's first 14 games have been decided by one run, mostly because its bullpen has been effective while the offense struggles at times.
It was the case for most of Tuesday. Oakland was 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position before Canha's hit but its bullpen kept them in it.
After Eric Surkamp allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, five Athletics relievers combined on 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Fernando Rodriguez (1-0) pitched two innings for the win and Ryan Madson recorded the save.
"We got just enough hits and our bullpen shut it down," Melvin said.
Before Canha's hit gave Oakland its 14th win in the last 20 meetings with the Yankees, the Athletics quickly rallied from two one-run deficits in the first six innings against Michael Pineda. Marcus Semien had an RBI single in the second and Lowrie had a run-scoring single through a drawn-in infield in the sixth.
The Yankees lost for the fifth time in six games and Tuesday was similar to most of New York's recent games as it struggled to produce in clutch situations.
"One guy is not going to bail us out," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "Sometimes it can be a broken-bat hit that changes things and all of a sudden the floodgates open but right now, we're not getting it."
New York's runs came on a single by Alex Rodriguez in the first and a sacrifice fly by Carlos Beltran in the fifth but it never tacked on, was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and had one hit in the last five innings.
New York also ran itself out of the ninth inning when Vogt threw out pinch runner Jacoby Ellsbury trying to steal second.
Rodriguez batted fifth and had hits in his first two at-bats. He popped up in his next two at-bats and opened the 11th by striking out.
"Today, we felt we were going to have a pretty good chance against the lefty they had on the mound, and we scored two," Beltran said " We couldn't get the hits with guys in scoring position. That's something that's been happening lately."
NOTES: In Tuesday's New York Daily News, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said he was puzzled by some of CF Jacoby Ellsbury's early defensive struggles. Asked about Cashman's comments to the tabloid, manager Joe Girardi said: "I don't think he's played as well as he's capable of playing. It just seems like he's misjudged the ball a couple of times. Sometimes it's hard picking up the ball in day games with the wind and the way the ball's carrying and the weather. He's a good center fielder and he's going to play a good center field for us." ... Oakland RHP Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder surgery) will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Stockton on Wednesday. Manager Bob Melvin said Alvarez will throw three innings or about 45 pitches. ... Athletics INF Eric Sogard will likely have left knee surgery but will get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday in Florida.