Jed touts health (and candy) after big night

Second baseman's HR gives A's 3rd straight walk-off win

Jed touts health (and candy) after big night

OAKLAND -- Skittles were flowing freely in the A's dugout, but Jed Lowrie wanted just one -- one in the middle of the ninth inning, the 10th and the 11th.

"Because that's all we needed, was one run," Lowrie said.

The veteran infielder provided it for the A's, belting his second homer of the game off a Deolis Guerra changeup for Oakland's third straight walk-off victory, a 3-2 thriller in Monday's series opener at the Coliseum.

"After the fact," catcher Stephen Vogt said, "I kind of thought about it. If you're gonna hang a changeup to the wrong person, it's probably Jed. He's quietly been the steady Eddie for us all year. Just sitting there, no one ever talks about him, but he's by far, to me, our most consistent, best hitter. Always has been, and it's really fun to watch what he's been doing."

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About those Skittles, though. Vogt says a fan named Leah tossed a bag his way during Spring Training, a gesture that preceded five consecutive wins. "So we went out and bought a bunch," Vogt said.

"But you can't bring them out early," he explained. "You gotta know when to bring them out. We're 3-for-3 with rally Skittles. We're having fun with it. We're grateful to our fans."

Vogt breaks out rally candy

Lowrie, who noted the Skittles are now being called "Hittles," enjoyed his third career multi-homer game and first since 2010, doubling his season home run total to four. He's hitting .298, including .338 over his last 17 games, and, more importantly, has full health on his side -- seemingly a rarity for this oft-injured infielder.

Lowrie has dealt with an array of health problems in his career, yet it was a sleep issue that caused him the most fits. During the offseason, he underwent surgery to repair a deviated septum, and the upshot has been extraordinary.

"I haven't felt this healthy in a long time," said Lowrie, who also had a foot procedure last year. "I've talked about the nose surgery more than anything. It's like a cloud has been lifted off. I felt like I've been in a fog the last few years with that sleep deprivation. It's fun. It's fun to play again."

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"He's been so consistent this year, and durable," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "The two surgeries he had and the work he put in after them has really made him who he is right now. He's playing younger than he's ever played in quite some time.

"Normally I give him a few more days off at this point than I have and he hasn't wanted them. He feels great. He's in the weight room every day. There's some hard work going on right now and he's playing as well as he has in quite some time."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.