OAKLAND -- Ryon Healy went bonkers at the plate Saturday afternoon, helping the A's claim a decisive 10-4 victory over the Nationals with two home runs and two doubles to even this three-game series at the Coliseum.It was the first career multi-homer game for the third baseman, who tied an
OAKLAND -- Ryon Healy went bonkers at the plate Saturday afternoon, helping the A's claim a decisive 10-4 victory over the Nationals with two home runs and two doubles to even this three-game series at the Coliseum.
It was the first career multi-homer game for the third baseman, who tied an A's franchise record with four extra-base hits in one game. Jed Lowrie nearly kept pace with three hits and four RBIs, homering and recording two doubles as part of the club's offensive outburst.
"He's been swinging a hot bat all year," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Lowrie. "He's probably been the most consistent bat for us, and that's why he's hitting in the three-spot. He gets big hits, his power numbers are up this year, you can always get your matchup with him as a switch-hitter. Performing better than ever defensively, too."
Yonder Alonso also homered for the second time in as many days, going back-to-back with Healy in the seventh for his ongoing career-high 16th of the season, a two-run shot. Healy has 11 on the year, giving the A's three players with double-digit home runs (Khris Davis, 16). More >
The A's struck for a combined seven runs in the first three innings against Nationals right-hander Joe Ross, who didn't return for the fourth after 82 pitches.
"It's on me," Ross said. "I didn't really give us a good chance to win. Seven runs in the first three innings? Probably not gonna do it." More >
Oakland starter Daniel Mengden's day was also cut short, after just 4 2/3 innings. The right-hander allowed four runs on six hits, including a three-run homer to Adam Lind in the third.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Striking first: An A's club that routinely comes up empty in the first inning broke from this trend in a big way Saturday, jumping out to a 4-0 lead thanks to a pair of two-run homers from Lowrie and Healy. The A's caught a break when catcher's interference was called during Chad Pinder's at-bat, giving them a free base runner as Lowrie stepped to the plate with one out. After Davis struck out, Alonso kept the inning alive with a base hit, setting the stage for Healy's first home run.
"It's just kind of a blur," Healy said. "You're focusing on the right things, getting good pitches to hit and most importantly not missing them. It's really tough to hit on this level when you're missing good pitches. I did that yesterday against [Stephen] Strasburg. Against good arms like that you can't miss good pitches to hit, so today there weren't a lot of misses for us."
What a relief: Mengden was removed from the game after walking Ryan Zimmerman with two outs in the fifth inning, leaving two baserunners in the care of Liam Hendriks. The right-hander issued a walk to Lind to load the bases and bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but he made quick work of Michael Taylor with a three-pitch strikeout to silence the threat. Hendriks stranded two more base runners in the sixth to preserve Oakland's lead, as A's relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings against a Nationals lineup that totaled 13 runs and 20 hits in Friday's opener.
"I mean we have been playing pretty good, so sometimes that's the way it bounces for you," said Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth, who exited the game in the ninth after fouling a ball off his left foot. "We definitely had our shots, but I think they pitched pretty well. They were pretty effective in some pretty big spots."
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"It just seemed like Joe was fighting Joe. He wanted it so bad, and between innings he was upset about the last inning. Then he would go out and look like he was fighting Joe. ...I know how bad he wanted to pitch well here in Oakland, especially with his parents and family and everybody here." -- Nationals manager Dusty Baker, on Ross's outing
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Saturday marked the second time in Oakland history the A's had two players with two doubles and at least one home run. Reggie Jackson and Sal Bando joined forces to accomplish the feat on July 20, 1969.
Nationals:Bryce Harper returns from his three-game suspension as the Nationals wrap up their week-long stay in the Bay Area in Sunday's series finale against the A's at 4:05 p.m. ET. Tanner Roark will take the mound looking to build off his two best starts of the year.
A's: Right-hander Sonny Gray, looking to bounce back from a subpar outing in Cleveland, returns to the mound Sunday for a 1:05 p.m. PT start against the Nationals in the three-game series finale. Gray takes a 4.72 ERA into the contest.
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Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.
Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.