Profar breaks out, Laureano dazzles vs. O's

April 10th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- A's center fielder Ramon Laureano and second baseman both came back a bit on Tuesday night. Laureano returned to the lineup after missing the first game of the series due to a jammed right thumb, and Profar may have found his normal offensive form thanks to a big night with the bat.

Laureano threw out Baltimore’s Richie Martin from center and went 1-for-4 with two RBIs. Profar emerged from an early-season slump by going 4-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs as the A’s defeated the Orioles 13-2.

Laureano’s two-run single in the ninth capped a big offensive night for the A’s, who won their first road game -- they’re now 1-4. But the play where he threw out Martin at home drew plenty of discussion in the clubhouse.

“I just throw it, and that’s it,” Laureano said with a smile. “It’s pretty simple. I see that he was running [and threw].”

He also said there’s no doubt about his thumb now.

“I feel good; my thumb feels good,” he said.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Laureano’s many talents are what make him so effective in center field. Now, Laureano has 13 assists in just 61 Major League games, certainly an eye-catching statistic.

The decision to send Martin was a bit questionable as Laureano appeared to have the ball in plenty of time and quickly fired home to nail the Orioles shortstop.

“He gets rid of it quicker than most guys do,” Melvin said. “He can throw from different angles, too. It’s almost like a really good infielder out there as far as the transition in getting rid of it and then the outfielder’s arm strength. He’s a pretty athletic kid.”

Orioles manager Brandon Hyde also was impressed by the throw Laureano made, but the new skipper wants his team to run often.

“We’ve been preaching aggressiveness, and Laureano can really, really throw,” Hyde said. “We know that. Unbelievable throw.”

Profar gave the A’s a big boost with his bat. Teammate Marcus Semien drove in four runs, three of which came on a second-inning homer off Orioles starter John Means that put the A’s up 5-0, but Profar came through in several offensive spots.

He had an RBI single in the second. That was his first RBI this season, but Profar then added a solo homer in the seventh plus a two-run single in the eighth and an RBI single in the ninth as the A’s broke the game open.

Profar came into the game with a .120 batting average but the 4-for-5 effort moved him up to .182 and put a smile on his face afterward.

“It feels good,” Profar said. “Just try to put the barrel on the ball, that’s it. Every at-bat, yesterday I felt good. Everything was slowing down. Tonight, it was like a bonus, getting those hits.”

Melvin also was happy to see Profar raise his average 62 points and break out a bit. Profar had been stuck in a 3-for-36 slide coming into this game, and the skipper is hoping this effort can help turn things around.

“When you come to a new team and you start off a little takes a couple of at-bats and when you have a big game like that, you can kind of see [the talent],” Melvin said.