A's 'ride wave' to 9th straight in 1st game

April 21st, 2021

OAKLAND -- The A’s dominance over the past week has led them to adopt “Ride The Wave” as their mantra for the season. That wave is being taken to greater heights by the offense.

It should come as no surprise that the A’s are performing like an offensive juggernaut over this impressive stretch of games. In a 7-0 victory over the Twins in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader to extend their winning streak to nine games -- matching the longest streak across the Majors this season -- Oakland’s run production came on three home runs.

slugged a homer in each of his first two at-bats, including a two-run shot off Twins starter Matt Shoemaker to get the scoring started in the second. After Moreland’s second homer -- a solo shot off Shoemaker in the fourth -- Matt Olson broke it open later that inning by scorching a 3-2 fastball from Jorge Alcala 110.3 mph off the bat and bouncing it off the right-field foul pole for a grand slam.

Over their nine-game win streak, the A’s have homered in each game for a total of 19 home runs over those contests.

The continued power surge on offense overshadowed what was a flawless performance on the mound by Sean Manaea. The left-hander went the distance in the seven-inning game, holding Minnesota to no runs on six hits and a walk with seven strikeouts.

It was a fairly trouble-free outing for Manaea, who got through the game on 95 pitches. The early onslaught of runs allowed him to settle in and pound the strike zone with fastballs. He threw his sinking fastball 66 times on Tuesday, using it as the put-away pitch on four of his seven punchouts.

“It was a great outing. Probably one of my better ones,” Manaea said. “It really helps when the guys on offense are getting on base and hitting bombs like that. It makes the game a little bit easier.”

Also enjoying a recent uptick in velocity to a 91.5 mph average on his heater after it averaged 90.4 last season, Manaea said he feels like he’s evolved into a new version of himself. His game has certainly reached high levels over the past year -- over his last 11 starts, Manaea is 6-2 with a 2.87 ERA, with the A’s winning nine of those contests.

“The velo is there,” Manaea said. “But even if it’s not there, I’m still going to attack guys. That’s what I’ve learned the past couple years. Not to be super nitpicky, just attack guys while hitting a certain area of the strike zone.”