It took a few innings, but the Oakland A’s offense has officially gotten on the board in the 2020 season.
The A’s went down in order for the first three innings on Opening Day at the Coliseum, totaling a full turn through the lineup, but the second time around they got to Angels starter Andrew Heaney. Oakland’s 11th batter of the game and season, Ramon Laureano, got a hold of an 80 mph curveball and hit an absolute laser over the wall in left field. The solo homer tied the game 1-1 at the time, with one out in the bottom of the 4th inning.
It was no cheapie, either. He absolutely smoked the ball with an enormous exit velocity of 110.5 mph, sending it an impressive 441 feet — well past the 367 sign that it sailed over. The virtual crowd went wild.
It’s no surprise to see Laureano being the first to put the A’s on the board. He was one of the team’s better hitters last summer, with his 126 wRC+ and .860 OPS, and he also added 24 dingers in just 123 games. All of that helped him earn the No. 2 spot in the lineup in this year’s opener, sandwiched between MVP-caliber stars Marcus Semien and Matt Chapman.
Scores have been on the lower side around the league on Friday’s Opening Day, with batters still looking for their grooves after an abbreviated preseason training camp. That’s been the case in this game between the A’s and Angels as well, at least so far — through five innings, the two teams have combined for just two runs and six hits, though the pitchers have also handed out a dozen walks.