OAKLAND — All the ill-timed mistakes the A’s made Sunday simply set the stage for another dramatic comeback victory.
Ryon Healy hit a towering two-run homer in the ninth and the A’s beat the Detroit Tigers 8-6, getting the best of closer Francisco Rodriguez for the second time in less than 24 hours.
Oakland trailed by a run entering the bottom of the ninth. But Rajai Davis drew a leadoff walk and Jed Lowrie’s double to left-center tied the game. After Khris Davis lined out, Healy hit a 1-0 pitch to left that appeared it might never come down. It finally did, on the other side of the left field wall, and the A’s stormed the field to celebrate, just as they did in Saturday night’s ninth-inning victory.
It was the second walk-off hit of Healy’s career. He also won a game last July 23 with a homer against Tampa Bay. As Healy rounded third and saw his teammates waiting for him at home plate, he flung his helmet high in the air and headed for home.
After a 2-7 road trip, the A’s rallied twice to take this three-game series and begin this six-game homestand on a high note.
Starting pitching report
When the A’s staked Sonny Gray to a 4-1 lead after four innings, it seemed he might be on his way to his first victory since July 26. But he never made it out of the fifth as the Tigers came right back with three runs to tie it. The Tigers got their first run in the third when Nicholas Castellanos’ check-swing double down the right-field line scored Dixon Machado. Gray was victimized by more tough luck in the fifth, as Machado’s infield dribbler went for a single and Andrew Romine reached on Yonder Alonso’s fielding error to help set the table for Detroit.
But Gray couldn’t shut the door in an inning that saw him throw 36 pitches. With two outs, Miguel Cabrera lined a run-scoring single, then Victor Martinez ended an 11-pitch battle by singling against the shift to left field to score another run and make it 4-3. That was it for Gray, who left after 4 2/3 innings and 98 pitches. Just one of his four runs was earned.
Ryan Dull’s wild pitch in the fifth allowed the tying run to score, then he gave up James McCann’s two-run homer that gave Detroit a 6-5 lead. But the A’s also got big performances from rookie Bobby Wahl, who threw two scoreless innings, and Santiago Casilla, who held Detroit off the board in the ninth.
At the plate
After delivering Saturday night’s walk-off hit, Adam Rosales got things going for the A’s on Sunday with a run-scoring double in the third. Rajai Davis scored him with his own double and Oakland led 2-1. That lead grew to 4-1 in the fourth when Yonder Alonso continued his torrid pace with a two-run homer to right field. In six games in May, Alonso has hit five homers and has driven in 10 runs. Just 31 games into the season, he’s already tied his career-high of nine home runs that he set in 2012 with the Padres. Trevor Plouffe’s RBI single in the fifth gave the A’s a 5-4 lead after Detroit had tied it.
In the field
The A’s chalked up two more errors in this one, giving them a major league-high 30 for the season. Those miscues have also led to 24 unearned runs, which also tops the majors. Rosales’ throwing error in the second didn’t hurt, but Alonso booted a grounder in the fifth that aided the Tigers’ three-run rally.
The announced crowd was 23,227.
The A’s meet the Los Angeles Angels for the third time in the season’s first six weeks. Monday — Kendall Graveman (2-2, 3.95) vs. Ricky Nolasco (2-2, 4.68), 7:05 p.m. Tuesday — Jharel Cotton (3-3, 4.64) vs. Alex Meyer (0-1, 9.39), 7:05 p.m. Wednesday — Andrew Triggs (4-2, 2.34) vs. Jesse Chavez (2-4, 4.46), 12:35 p.m. All three games will air on NBC Sports California.