OAKLAND — Ryon Healy connected on 838 feet of home runs and Sean Manaea authored his fourth consecutive strong start, as the Oakland Athletics claimed a 5-3 series-opening win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
Healy delivered a three-run shot into the left-field bleachers in the second and then put a two-run homer into nearly the identical spot a couple of innings later.
“There’s a different sound [off his bat],” manager Bob Melvin said. “Certain guys may have a little different sound and when he gets into one, he hits them a long way and can do it at night here to the big part of the park.”
In his first full season in the majors, Healy is now up to 13 homers with 10 of those long balls coming in the past 29 games.
“The thing that stands out the most for me is the adjustments he’s made this year because he’s had to go through some struggles,” Melvin said. “And he’s made the adjustments and look how he’s swinging.”
Per ESPN.com, Healy is on track to tally 37 homers in his first full season in the majors, third on the club behind Yonder Alonso (45) and Khris Davis (47). The trio have already combined for 46 home runs, which is one more than the San Francisco Giants have, as a team.
The designated hitter’s pair of blasts on Monday night provided more than enough support for Manaea, who did not appear poised to throw yet another gem after an inauspicious top of the first.
“I was down three or four guys in the bullpen today,” Melvin explained. “So he needed to pitch deep in the game for us and it looked like after the first two innings, he might pitch five innings the way they were making him work. So, to be able to give us six innings like that, it was big.”
The left-hander let in a run just two batters into the game when former A’s star Josh Donaldson boomed an RBI double into the left-field corner.
“It just kind of took me a little bit to get things going,” Manaea said. “[I was] just trying to find a release point for my slider and changeup and it was just one of those days.”
While throwing a career high 111 pitches across six frames, Manaea only allowed one more run the rest of the way. In his past four starts, which have all resulted in wins, the 25-year-old has produced a 1.80 ERA (five earned runs in 25 innings).
Santiago Casilla capped off the win with his ninth save, striking out Josh Donaldson — representing the tying run — to end the contest.