Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 5-3 win over Blue Jays

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's 5-3 win over Blue Jays


OAKLAND — The best game of Ryon Healy’s career stood for all of two days.

On Monday night, Healy outdid himself with another two-homer game to go along with a career-high five RBI as the A’s beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 in the opener of a three-game series at the Coliseum.

He also homered twice on Saturday, part of a 4-for-4 day that gives Monday’s performance a run for its money. But that’s irrelevant. Healy is on a tear, batting .333 (38-for-114) with 10 homers over his past 29 games.

In the third, he jumped on an 0-1 pitch from Jays starter J.A. Happ drilled a liner that reached the seats in left in a hurry for a three-run homer. He stepped to the plate again in the fourth and mashed a 2-2 pitch for a towering drive that reached the elevated seats in left-center.

As a team, the A’s have hit nine homers in the first four games of this six-game homestand. Fifty-three of their 86 homers have come at the Coliseum, and they lead the majors in home runs at home.

Healy continues to punish southpaws: Oakland’s DH came in hitting .383 against left-handed pitching, fifth best in the American League. After bopping both of his homers against Happ (0-4), he’s now 20-for-49 (.408) off lefties with five of his 13 homers.

Manaea makes it four in a row: Boosted by some early offense, A’s starter Sean Manaea (5-3) won his fourth consecutive start, going six innings and holding Toronto to two runs on four hits. It was Manaea’s 16th game in a row with five or fewer hits allowed and two or more innings pitched, matching the longest such streak by an American League pitcher since at least 1913. He struck out seven, walked three and continues to develop into the kind of dominant starter the A’s envisioned when they acquired him from Kansas City at the 2015 trade deadline.

Plouffe remains ice cold at the plate: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe made a couple of very nice defensive plays but went 0-for-3. That leaves him in an 0-for-25 dry spell and 4-for-43 beyond that. Plouffe did have some bad luck, hitting a laser to right field that was caught. He made two nice plays on line drives, including a lunging grab to rob Jose Bautista in the eighth, then made a nice backhanded stop in the ninth to get a force out at second.

Josh Donaldson was no Bringer of Pain: The former A’s All-Star doubled in his first at-bat to score the first run off Manaea, and he also walked in the third. But given a chance to spoil the A’s night, representing the tying run in the ninth, Donaldson went down swinging against Santiago Casilla, who notched his ninth save.

Rajai Davis endured one adventurous trip around the bases: The struggling veteran returned to the leadoff spot and went 0-for-3. He did walk in the fifth and stole second base despite being picked off by Happ. Happy tried to throw behind him at second, and the throw appeared to strike Davis around one of his kidneys. He was checked by trainers but stayed in the game.

A's Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery, miss 2018 season


A's Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery, miss 2018 season

The A's will be without starting pitcher Jharel Cotton for the entire 2018 season as he is set to undergo Tommy John surgery. 

Cotton, 26, went 9-10 with a 5.58 ERA in 2017 after a rookie season in which he went 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA in five starts. Leading up to the injury, he was 0-1 with a 3.75 ERA over four appearances in spring training.

Watch Cotton react to the news: 

Now officially in the fold, Lucroy ready to work with young A's pitchers


Now officially in the fold, Lucroy ready to work with young A's pitchers

The Oakland A's made it official: They finally got their man behind the plate. 

Oakland officially announced the signing of veteran catcher Jonathan Lucroy on Monday. Lucroy's deal is reportedly worth $6.5 million, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser.

Lucroy joined his new teammates for the first time in Arizona on Monday, and told reporters that he is especially excited to work with the club's young, promising pitching staff. The three returning leaders in innings pitched (Kendall Graveman, Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton) are all 27-years-old or younger, and 22-year-old top prospect A.J. Puk is pushing for a rotation spot after allowing just one run in three appearances this spring. 

"I'm looking forward to working with these guys and trying to help them get better and get better myself along the way," Lucroy told reporters. "I think that's what it's all about; taking what they do best and try to simplify their approach ... Really, just doing anything I can with them to get hitters out."

Manager Bob Melvin told reporters that he thinks Lucroy's experience will prove beneficial to his young staff.

"If we can't go out and get ourselves a [starting pitcher], that's the next best thing," Melvin told reporters on Monday. "So, he's got a lot of experience, and a great reputation for being a teriffic leader behind the plate."

Lucroy, 31, slashed .265/.345/.371 in 481 plate appearances with the Texas Rangers and Colorado Rockies last season, hitting six home runs with 40 RBI, his lowest marks in those categories since his rookie season in 2010.

In order to accomodate Lucroy's signing the, the A's designated left-handed pitcher Jairo Labourt for assignment. Labourt was acquired off of waivers on Mar. 4, and Labourt's arrival prompted the eventual release of Brandon Moss one month into his Oakland reunion.