OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Oakland Athletics are scoring runs every which way again and they’re back to playing their winning brand of baseball.
Stephen Piscotty and Matt Olson homered to back Sean Manaea’s first victory of the season, and the A’s won their fifth straight game by beating the Detroit Tigers 8-4 on Thursday night.
Piscotty connected in the third inning off Tarik Skubal (0-2), and Olson went deep in the fifth. Elvis Andrus added a sacrifice fly as Manaea (1-1) received plenty of support. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter over six strong innings.
The left-hander allowed two runs on five hits and has a nine-game winning streak against AL Central teams dating to a victory against Cleveland in August 2016 during his rookie season.
Matt Chapman had a two-run double and the defending AL West champs are suddenly surging following a forgettable 0-6 start against the Astros and Dodgers, having won six of seven.
“It’s early and fact of the matter is the first couple series we’re playing a couple of teams that are probably going to be a couple of the best teams in baseball,” Mark Canha said.
“Those are some really good pitching staffs we’re facing early in the year when you’re trying to kind of get your bearings. I think our lineup’s really good and we’re capable of doing that and now we get the ball rolling and I think good things can happen.”
Niko Goodrum homered for Detroit, which was coming off a sweep at Houston in manager A.J. Hinch’s return following the sign-stealing scheme that got him fired by the Astros before the shortened 2020 season. That came after a four-game skid by the Tigers and losses in six of seven.
The A’s also capitalized on a pair of bases-loaded walks.
“They only put the ball in play three times the…