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Ryon Healy's two homers lead Oakland Athletics past Toronto Blue Jays

By
Eric Gilmore, The Sports Xchange
Oakland's Sean Manaea struck out seven, walked three and threw a career-high 111 pitches. Photo courtesy Oakland Athletics/Twitter
Oakland's Sean Manaea struck out seven, walked three and threw a career-high 111 pitches. Photo courtesy Oakland Athletics/Twitter

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Ryon Healy had never hit two home runs in a game at any level of his professional baseball career before Saturday, when he launched two for the Oakland Athletics in a victory against the Washington Nationals.

Healy didn't wait long to go deep twice again.

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The designated hitter homered twice and drove in a career-high five runs, powering the A's to a 5-3 victory against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night at the Coliseum in the opener of a three-game series.

"If he doesn't show up for work today, we're in a little bit of trouble," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He can hit, and he's semi-acclimating to the DH role now, which he doesn't want to admit he's acclimating to because he wants to be in the field, obviously.

"I think the thing that stands out the most to me is the adjustments he's made this year because he's had to go through some struggles, and he's made the adjustments and look how he's swinging again."

On Saturday, Healy went 4-for-4 with the two homers and two doubles, tying a franchise record for the most extra-base hits in a game. He went 2-for-3 on Monday.

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Healy had 13 home runs in 72 games last season, his first in the major leagues, and he has 13 in 56 games this year. Ten of his 13 homers have come at the Coliseum.

"I'm having good swings, good results right now, but still some things I'm trying to iron out," Healy said. "So there's room for improvement, but I don't think I feel amazing right now. Just not missing my pitches."

A's left-hander Sean Manaea (5-3) extended his career-high winning streak to four games, holding the Blue Jays to two runs on four hits over six innings. He struck out seven, walked three and threw a career-high 111 pitches.

In his past three games, against the New York Yankees, the Cleveland Indians and the Blue Jays, Manaea has allowed three runs on 11 hits with 24 strikeouts and five walks over 20 innings.

Healy, who entered the game hitting .383 against left-handers, belted a three-run shot off Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ in the second inning and a two-run blast off Happ in the fourth.

"I don't think (Happ) was that bad other than you take Ryon Healy out of the lineup," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Unfortunately, you can't do that. He hung in there, got his pitches in, which he definitely needed to do."

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Happ (0-4) made his second start since being reinstated after a stint on the disabled list caused by left elbow inflammation. He gave up five runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings, struck out four, walked two and threw 98 pitches. He fell to 4-1 all-time against Oakland.

"They got five runs on two hard-hit balls, so that's not good run prevention from me," Happ said. "I feel like that's going to change. I feel like I'll be more sharp as we go forward. Frustrating night."

Yonder Alonso went 2-for-4 with a double and a run for the last-place A's, who remained 16 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West.

Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak hit his 15th home run of the season, a solo shot in the eighth that cut Oakland's lead to 5-3.

Josh Donaldson, Kevin Pillar and Troy Tulowitzki each doubled for the Blue Jays, who dropped into sole possession of last place in the AL East, six games behind the first-place New York Yankees.

A's closer Santiago Casilla pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his ninth save in 11 opportunities.

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Toronto scored a run in the top of the first inning when Pillar worked a leadoff walk and came home on Donaldson's double down the left field line.

Oakland took a 3-1 lead in the second. Khris Davis led off with a walk, Alonso singled to center, and Healy crushed a three-run homer into the left-center-field seats. The blast came on Happ's 0-1 changeup.

"He's pretty strong," Melvin said of Healy. "There's a different sound certain guys make (when they make contact), and when he gets into one, he hits 'em a long way and can do it at night here in the big part of the park."

Healy went deep again in the fourth inning, launching a two-run shot into the left-center-field seats with one out and Davis aboard via a leadoff walk to make it 5-1.

Toronto cut the deficit to 5-2 in the fifth as Ezequiel Carrera led off with a walk and scored on Pillar's double to left.

NOTES: A's LF Khris Davis left the game in the top of the eighth with tightness in a calf that developed over the game. "We'll see how he is tomorrow," manager Bob Melvin said. ... Blue Jays LHP J.P. Howell (left shoulder tightness) was placed on the 10-day disabled list, and LHP Jeff Beliveau was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. Beliveau pitched a scoreless eighth inning. ... Blue Jays C Russell Martin (strained neck) returned to the starting lineup after missing three games. He went 0-for-4. ... Blue Jays 2B Devon Travis was out of the lineup after being hit on his left hand by a pitch Sunday against the Yankees. ... A's OF Mark Canha, who missed Sunday's game against Washington with stomach flu, started in right field Monday and finished 0-for-3. ... A's LHP Sean Doolittle (strained left shoulder) pitched a perfect inning with three strikeouts for Class A Stockton in his second rehab appearance.

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