OAKLAND — A road trip to Detroit earlier this month sparked a tradition for A’s to do the Nae Nae — a dance move popularized by Silentó’s 2015 hit song “Watch Me” — whenever a player reaches second base on a double.
At this time, Oakland’s offense was in a major slump, giving hitters little opportunity to explode their moves. On Tuesday night, however, the A’s finally had a chance to throw a dance party on the bases.
The Nae Nae were heavily featured on a night when the A’s tied a season high with four doubles in their 7-5 win over the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. The victory was Oakland’s first against Seattle in its last 14 tries, ending the club’s longest losing streak against a single team since moving to California before the 1968 season.
Although the A’s offense as a whole entered the evening ranked last in most major offensive categories, signs of a breakthrough continue to emerge, which manager Mark Kotsay noticed a few weeks ago. when the A’s seemed to constantly smash the ball into hard shots. . With seven runs on 13 hits in Tuesday’s contest, the A’s have now scored 30 runs in their last seven games, with four double-digit hit totals in that span.
“I think they’re going in the right direction,” Kotsay said. “We talked about it maybe 10 days ago, that the hitters showed an approach to sticking to the game plan and a mentality to bring up the next one. They’re doing a great job right now taking what the pitchers and defense give them and putting some good sticks together.
The first Nae Nae of the night came from Chad Pinder, who kicked the scoring for the A’s in the first with a double RBI from the opposite field that bounced off the wall to the right. Two innings later, Jed Lowrie scored the second brace of the night, also hitting the Nae Nae after his shot netted Tony Kemp from the opening base.
One of the most prolific doubles hitters to don the green and gold, Lowrie had plenty to dance to with this double. It was his 202nd career double as an A member, passing Carney Lansford for eighth in Oakland history.
The brace was the first of two big hits of the night for Lowrie. He also broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth by smashing a two-run right homer.
Lowrie has had to catch up quickly since signing with the A’s late in spring training. After missing time earlier in the season due to a bout with COVID-19 and more recently a back issue, the 38-year-old is getting up to speed. With two more hits on Tuesday, he’s now hitting .343 (12 for 35) with two home runs, two doubles and six RBIs in his last 10 games.
“It’s been kind of a hitch,” Lowrie said of his season so far. “I’m happy with where I am right now. Just keep getting those reps and feeling good.
Regardless of how he hits, Lowrie remains a hard-hitting presence inside the A’s clubhouse, often providing advice to hitters of all ages with his knowledge gained over 14 major league seasons. Especially for a team with so many players being pushed into day-to-day roles for the first time in their careers, like Kemp, Lowrie’s availability as a resource continues to be invaluable.
“He knows what he’s talking about,” Kemp said of Lowrie. “I learned so much from him last year and I just feel like he’s one of those guys that if you have him in the clubhouse you automatically feel good about yourself. I can’t say enough about what he’s done, especially at 38 and just seeing what it takes to prepare his body every day is impressive.
For most of the season, the A’s lacked quality offensive support to back up the consistent pitching performances they received. On Tuesday, the A hitters were able to get off a tough five-run start allowed by James Kaprielian and give the bullpen a lead, which closed Seattle after the fifth, ending with Dany Jiménez making his ninth save of the year.
“As the summer heats up, the bats heat up,” Kemp said. “We’re just going to follow that mantra. It feels good to get double-digit hits and big late runs.
“We just have to continue to stay within ourselves and not put pressure on ourselves. Just try to have fun. It’s child’s play. »
The Nae Nae certainly contribute to the fun of the A’s, even if it’s a bit of an alien concept for their freshman skipper.
“I do not know what [the Nae Nae] is,” Kotsay said. “But I’m a fan of any dance. I’m a fan of any type of party. It’s good to see the guys having fun.