ARLINGTON — Sean Manaea was hoping for one more start to end his season on a good note. Back issues put that chance in jeopardy as he was scratched from his scheduled start last week, but after receiving a cortisone that same day, the left-hander felt much better and ended his year in an impressive fashion.
Manaea allowed just an unearned run on three hits in 6 2/3 innings of work to pick up his team-leading 12th win of the year in a 4-1 victory over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park on Thursday night. It was the ninth time in the past 13 games an A’s starter has allowed one earned run or less.
It’s been an up-and-down season for Manaea, who finishes the season 12-10 with an ERA of 4.37. The reason for the highs and lows may have been due to his extreme weight loss.
The second-year pitcher revealed that he was diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) this past offseason. It was a condition Manaea suspected he may have had before. After his trainers recommended he go to get tested for it, doctors confirmed he had it.
The medication caused Manaea to get full easily after only consuming very small amounts of food. As a result, he lost 25 pounds in a matter of months, making it harder for him to recover during the season.
“I got it prescribed in spring training and we were trying to dial in the dosage the entire season. It definitely took a couple of months for me to find that right dosage and the stuff I’m on right now definitely helps,” Manaea said. “Before, the dosage I was on, I couldn’t eat. I would take like two bites and be full. It was bad. Everybody started taking notice and I lost all that weight. It was a tough time but the stuff I have now is perfect.”
Now weighing around 230 pounds, Manaea plans to hit the weight room to add on some muscle in preparation for next season.
“I definitely noticed it halfway through the season when I was having a hard time recovering. Night game to day games were really tough,” Manaea said. “The weight I’m at is good but I feel I could add more muscle and be around 240 to 245 for an ideal weight. 255 is too heavy and 230 is not enough. Just trying to find that balance.”
Manaea did have some control issues on the night. He walked three batters and hitting another two with pitches on the night, two of those walks and one of those hit batters came in the seventh to load the bases and forcing Melvin to go to the bullpen. On the hook for all three runners with two outs, Manaea was saved by Liam Hendriks, who got Elvis Andrus to fly out to right field and end the inning with the 3-1 lead still intact.
A’s manager Bob Melvin mentioned earlier that he was looking for Manaea to end his season with one more good start, and that’s exactly what transpired.
“That’s finishing strong. He was effective early in the game. Early count contact allowed him to hang around for a while,” Melvin said. “He pitched out of a couple of jams. I had to go get him for one out, but that’s finishing on a strong note for a guy that was really grinding toward the end. He will be better for it come next year.”
One of A’s manager Bob Melvin’s goals for his club in the second half of the season has been to play better within the division. Against the Texas Rangers, they’ve been nothing short of dominant.
The A’s earned their seventh straight victory against Texas and improve their overall record to 10-6 against the club.
“To win against a team in your division, who you’re going to see more than others, it’s good to help build some confidence,” A’s rookie Matt Chapman said. “We know they’re a good team. To compete with these kinds of teams is a good thing.”
Chapman backed Manaea’s strong performance with a couple of RBIs. He crushed his 14th home run of the season, a solo shot to center in the fifth off a 0-1 pitch from Miguel Gonzalez, and drove home Khris Davis in the ninth on a single to center.
After Texas tied it up in the fifth, Ryon Healy put the A’s back on top in the very next inning with a single that drove home both Davis and Jed Lowrie.
Blake Treinen allowed a couple of runners to reach base in the ninth, but he managed to strand both to convert his 11th consecutive save opportunity and 15th overall save on the season.
• Bruce Maxwell knelt during the national anthem for the first time away from the Oakland Coliseum. He was received some boos from the crowd, but described the scene as “very mild” compared to the hate he has been receiving through social media.
“You do anything that anybody doesn’t like and they’re gonna sit there and trash you for it,” Maxwell said. “Not really a big deal.”
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