For the first time in a while, the Athletics were on the right side of an offensive outburst.
Matt Olson’s three-run home run in the top of the eighth inning was a game-changer in Oakland's 6-2 win over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on Friday night.
“You know, we’ve been waiting for that type of thing,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said with a smile after the win. “You know when you talk about pitching, defense, across the board -- that’s the type of game that we play, and I think it started with [Sean] Manaea and then the home run by Olson was huge for us, and then [Mark] Canha after that, and it just kind of loosens you up. It goes hand in hand. The pitching and the hitting. Manaea’s pitching was fantastic on top of it, but obviously, Oly’s blow was the big one of the game.”
Olson's 414-foot bomb to right might just be the boost the A's need.
“Yeah, hopefully, it sparks a little bit,” Olson said after the game. “It was good to feel emotion and adrenaline in the dugout and everything after obviously such a tough start.”
The A’s are 2-7 on the season, and looked like the usual scrappy ball club Friday that makes the Astros squirm during the regular season.
Infielder Jed Lowrie hit his first home run of the season and his first home run since Sept. 29, 2018 … during his previous tour of duty with the A's.
Mark Canha added some insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning with a two-run homer, and Sean Manaea turned in a solid outing.
In six innings, Manaea struck out four while allowing one earned run and just as many walks.
“It was good to stick around in a game,” Olson said. “Sean threw a hell of a game keeping us in it when we weren’t getting much going early and we found a way to keep grinding out at-bats and getting guys on, finally pushed a few across … that is more our more typical kind of game where we grind it out a little bit, stay in the game and do something nice late and I think we can just take this momentum and ride it out.”