OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)Manager Bob Melvin figured the slugging Athletics might need a few games to regain their offensive swagger following an unplanned layoff this past week.
Ramon Laureano homered to help Sean Manaea win his third straight start, and Oakland snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the San Diego Padres 8-4 on Saturday.
Matt Olson hit a two-run triple and new addition Tommy La Stella had an RBI double for the A’s, pounded 7-0 on Friday night as they returned to the field following four postponed games because of Daniel Mengden’s positive coronavirus test.
”We felt a lot better than yesterday, just knocked the rust off yesterday,” A’s catcher Jonah Heim said.
Manaea (3-2) allowed one run and four hits over five innings. The lefty is on a nice roll after going 0-2 over his initial five outings. Manaea went 4-0 in September last season after coming back from shoulder surgery, and then was the losing pitcher in the AL Wild Card Game against Tampa Bay.
”I struggled but at the same time, looking back, it was awesome. I definitely learned a lot about myself,” Manaea said of this year. ”Just taking those lessons into each start. It’s great being able to see this hard work paying off a little bit at a time.”
Austin Nola homered and Eric Hosmer had a run-scoring groundout, but San Diego lacked the same potent offense of a night earlier when Fernando Tatis Jr. homered and drove in three runs.
Hosmer was ejected by plate umpire Quinn Wolcott in the eighth after arguing a called third strike.
”There was obviously a disagreement in the zone. It was hot out there today, that’s that,” said Padres manager Jayce Tingler, who also came out to let Wolcott know he thought the ejection came fast. ”He didn’t think it was there. That’s it.”
Tatis – who began the day tied with Mike Trout for the majors’ home run lead at 14 – finished 1 for 4 with a ninth-inning double and two strikeouts on a scorching September day amid another Bay Area heatwave, which typically causes the ball to carry even more.
The Padres, who at 24-17 are second in the NL West behind the major league-leading Dodgers, have scored 41 runs over their last six games.
”I feel like the boys are prepared, prepared for this. We have a really good team,” Tatis said. ”We’re just glad everybody’s bringing it together and bringing it at the same time.”
San Diego righty Chris Paddack (3-4) was done after 4 2/3 innings. He is yet to win consecutive outings this year.
The A’s haven’t lost more than three straight since a five-game skid from May 28-June 2, 2019.
Tatis loved celebrating with Luis Campusano when the rookie connected for his first home run and major league hit Friday night after being promoted earlier in the day.
”It was great, it was a great moment. It reminded me of mine last year,” Tatis said. ”We were in the minor leagues together and now we’re in the big leagues together. It’s great to see a guy coming up from the farm system and helping the team.”
Oakland’s Matt Chapman struck out five times to give him eight Ks the past two games after the extended time off.
Melvin on Tatis: ”I know a little more about him now. Incredible talent. … We saw a lot of him yesterday, more than we wanted to. You got a pretty good handle after one game how talented he is.”
Padres: Campusano had been set to start at catcher but felt something during batting practice, swings in his left hand that ”didn’t feel right,” Tingler said. ”Spirit-wise, he was crushed that he couldn’t go.”
Athletics: SS Marcus Semien took swings off a tee in the cage as he nurses a sore left side. He is optimistic of returning soon. ”It looks like we’re gaining some ground,” Melvin said. … LHP A.J. Puk is scheduled to throw again Sunday at the club’s San Jose alternate site as he recovers from a strained pitching shoulder that required injections and landed him on the injured list to start the 60-game season. ”He’s going to pitch Sunday then we’re going to decide where we are with him,” Melvin said. ”I think he’s progressing to the point we feel good about his return pretty soon.”
Garrett Richards (1-2, 4.63 ERA) looks to end a four-start winless stretch when he pitches for San Diego opposite Oakland right-hander Mike Fiers (4-1, 4.86 ERA), who has a three-start winning streak.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports