OAKLAND (CBS/AP) — Ryon Healy was so focused on getting to second base the A’s rookie didn’t realize he had hit a game-ending home run until he looked up and saw third base coach Ron Washington celebrating.
After that, the Oakland third baseman slowed up his trot to allow the players in the bullpen to join the fun.
Healy homered with two outs in the ninth inning two batters after Jake Smolinski tied it with a two-run homer, and the A’s rallied past the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 on Saturday night.
“It was definitely a special feeling, one I haven’t had a ton in my life,” Healy said. “I don’t think there’s anything more fun than walk-off wins in baseball. The fact we’ve been able to have so many in my short eight-day career just makes winning that much better.”
The A’s have notched three walk-off wins in their last five games to improve to 6-3 since the All-Star break.
Oakland’s good fortunes happen to coincide with Healy’s call-up from the minors on July 15.
Coincidence or not, manager Bob Melvin couldn’t be happier.
“He has not been afraid of any situation that he’s been in,” Melvin said. “He went up there with fire in his eyes.”
Both home runs by the A’s in the ninth came off closer Alex Colome, who had recorded 21 consecutive saves before giving up three runs to the A’s.
“Completely uncharacteristic of him because he’s been outstanding for us all year,” manager Kevin Cash said. “If the same situation arises, we’ll have all the confidence in the world in him.”
Khris Davis opened the ninth with a walk before pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso struck out swinging. Smolinski hit the first pitch he saw over the fence in left field to tie the game 3-3.
Colome (1-3) got Marcus Semien to fly out before Healy hammered a 3-2 pitch to left-center for the winner.
It’s Healy’s second home run since being called up from the minors July 15 , the first game-ending hit of his career and the second consecutive walk-off win in as many games for the A’s.
Kendall Graveman (7-6) pitched a complete game for his sixth consecutive win. The right-hander allowed three runs with four strikeouts and one walk, throwing 102 pitches.
SMYLY’S STREAK CONTINUES
Colome’s meltdown in the ninth prevented starter Drew Smyly from ending a skid of seven straight losses, the worst of his career. Smyly allowed one run over six innings and left with a one-run lead. “It really showed a lot about him to give up the early run and not cave there,” Cash said. “He kept battling and making some really good pitches.”
Tampa Bay right fielder Oswaldo Arcia had two hits and an RBI before leaving with a mild strain in his right elbow after striking out swinging in the seventh. Cash said Arcia is expected to be back in the Rays lineup Sunday.
Rays: RHP Chase Whitley (offseason elbow surgery) will make his second rehab appearance with Class A Charlotte on Sunday. … OF Mike Mahtook (fractured left hand) will begin hitting off a tee Sunday.
A’s: OF Josh Reddick was scratched from the lineup because of lower back soreness. … Stephen Vogt was placed on the family medical leave list. Bruce Maxwell was called up from Triple-A Nashville before the game to replace the veteran catcher. … LHP Rich Hill (middle finger blister) will throw a bullpen session Sunday.
Rays: LHP Blake Snell (2-4) pitches the finale of the three-game series at the Coliseum on Sunday after throwing six scoreless innings in Colorado during his most recent start.
A’s: RHP Jesse Hahn (2-4) is expected to be called up from Nashville to start against Tampa Bay.
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