The first baseman had been slowed at the plate of late, his home run stroke on break and his average quietly dipping amid an otherwise monstrous first half. His struggles largely went unnoticed, though, in part thanks to Sunday's announcement revealing Alonso as a first-time All-Star -- bound for his adopted hometown of Miami.
The news was the perfect distraction from on-field happenings; Alonso entered Tuesday batting just .194 over his last 20 games, his season average dropping from .314 to .280, with just one home run in that span.
Then Alonso ventured to the plate in the fourth inning and sent a moonshot over the right-field wall, a go-ahead solo shot for his 18th home run of the year. No. 19 came one inning later, when Alonso put the A's back on top, 6-5, with a two-run blast.
"We really do rely on the middle of our order, and when we don't hit there, everybody kind of feels it, so it's good to get him back going like that," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's had many All-Star Game performances this year."
Alonso, a reserve on the American League squad after coming out as the leading vote-getter at first base on the player ballot, has not strayed from his routine amid an adventurous first half, sticking to a work ethic that helped him rediscover positive results Tuesday.
"Obviously I'm aware of the game stuff," Alonso said. "I've had a few people tell me throughout my years in the game that as long as your work is good, as long as your [batting practice] is good and you have solid at-bats, it is what it is. I've been feeling good at the plate, been feeling focused, been getting good at-bats, and today was just a good day and I was able to do something for the team."
Alonso's assistance extended to the dugout, where he lent advice to rookie Franklin Barreto in the early going of the back-and-forth affair. Barreto responded with an RBI triple and a walk-off homer.
"That's what we're here for," Alonso said. "We're here to help each other out, and he helps me too. I've seen him for two years now, I've seen how he works, so when I see something I like to help him out. It's just nice to see the little guy with pop like that. He's definitely got it."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.