Ryon Healy is finding his timing at the plate and adjusting to his down time as a designated hitter.
Manager Bob Melvin might consider having him take groundballs in the clubhouse if need be to keep the second-year major leaguer from getting bored when the Athletics are in the field.
“He jokes about that, but I was seriously playing wall ball with myself in Houston,” Healy said, chuckling.
He seems to have the routine down. Healy homered twice to drive in a career-high five runs, single-handedly backing Sean Manaea’s fourth straight winning start as Oakland beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Monday night.
“If he doesn’t show up for work today, we’re in a little bit of trouble,” Melvin said. “He can hit.”
Josh Donaldson wasted no time reminding A’s fans what they’re missing, hitting an RBI double in the first inning for Toronto before striking out to end the game.
Manaea (5-3) struck out seven over six innings, allowing two runs and four hits while walking three. He extended the longest winning streak of his career.
Oakland got plenty of offense again after scoring 10 or more runs in its previous two games.
Justin Smoak hit his 15th home run in the eighth off Liam Hendriks for the Blue Jays, who couldn’t do enough for J.A. Happ (0-4).
Manager John Gibbons joked that Smoak is showing his power a year after he signed an $8.5 million, two-year contract.
“He’s doing a heck of a job. Shouldn’t have signed that contract. He’s losing money now,” Gibbons said. “I’ve never seen him this good. We always envisioned it. It’s in there, and it’s just coming together for him.”
Happ, making his second start since coming off the disabled list, suffered his first loss in eight starts against the A’s while allowing the most runs in those outings — having never given up more than three earned runs to Oakland. He was tagged for five runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings, struck out four and walked three.
He allowed two runs in four innings against Cincinnati last week, his first start after missing nearly six weeks because of a sore elbow.
Yonder Alonso added two hits for Oakland, facing a lefty starter for the first time in nine games. Santiago Casilla, the third A’s reliever, finished for his ninth save in 11 chances.
Mark Canha returned to right field for the A’s a day after being scratched with a stomach bug.
Oakland left fielder Khris Davis experienced some tightness in his right calf but wasn’t overly concerned.
By Bill Baer