Manaea steps up in emergency relief

A's lefty logs 5 innings after Hill, Triggs exit with injuries

Manaea steps up in emergency relief

OAKLAND -- The A's had a lefty on the mound through a good chunk of Sunday's game against the Blue Jays at the Coliseum -- it just wasn't the one they planned.

Oakland hurriedly called on rookie Sean Manaea to begin the second inning following injuries that knocked both Rich Hill and long reliever Andrew Triggs out of the game in the opening frame of a 5-3 loss to Toronto. Manaea was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Astros, but A's manager Bob Melvin had no other options.

The lefty answered by going striking out four batters over five innings, his lone miscue coming on a two-run homer by Troy Tulowitzki in the fourth inning. After the game, Manaea said "it felt like another start."

"I'm sure he didn't come to the ballpark thinking 'You know, I might pitch today,'" Melvin said.

Melvin on a hard-fought loss

Manaea said he's made one relief appearance dating back to college, and it came on a day he was planned to throw a bullpen session anyway. It was his first professional relief appearance, and he didn't have much time to think about it, racing to the bullpen in the bottom of the first and going through an accelerated warmup routine.

"It's tough to ask a kid to do something like that, too," Melvin said. "Pitchers typically have quite a routine to get ready for a start, with all the stretching and the things they do. He was ready quick, and he pitched really well."

"Going from relaxed and just watching the game to game-mode is something different for me," Manaea said, "but I felt I did an OK job of getting in the right mindset and doing my job."

Manaea was on a pitch count of roughly 65, having thrown a 35-pitch bullpen session Saturday, and balanced it efficiently, throwing 69 pitches, 47 for strikes. Oakland needed every pitch, too, with both Ryan Madson and Ryan Dull unavailable Sunday.

"We were going to limit [Manaea's] pitches," Melvin said. "We just didn't have enough to get through the game, bullpen-wise, if we didn't use him."

Oakland hasn't named a starter for Tuesday, but it won't be Hill, who departed after five pitches with a finger blister and said he'll need at least three or four days to heal. It's unclear when Manaea will start next, but a natural fit could be to take Hill's next turn in the rotation.

Manaea is 3-5 with a 5.13 ERA in 13 appearances.

Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.