Josh Reddick powers A's 8-2 romp over Mariners
Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 6:10 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 6:10 p.m.
OAKLAND — Quieting his large but impatient fan base, Josh Reddick finally hit a few baseballs with some serious hair on them Thursday.
Hitless in his first 10 at-bats through the A's first three games, Reddick caught up in a hurry with a two-run homer, an RBI double and sacrifice fly in an 8-2 Oakland victory over the Seattle Mariners before 12,134 at the Coliseum.
Reddick said he's been getting roasted on social media sites for having the most pronounced facial growth in the majors to go along with one of the most meager outputs in the very early season.
“I tell them we're just four games in ... let it go,” said Reddick. “I'm not going to go 0 for the whole year. But that's just fans being fans on Twitter — you just have to let it go in one ear and out the other. With my face I can do a lot with it.”
Reddick wasted no time getting off the schneid, crushing a 1-2 pitch by Mariners starter Brandon Maurer over the right-center field wall with Coco Crisp aboard to give the A's a quick lead they never lost.
But Reddick wasn't done. He stroked an opposite field double to drive home Jed Lowrie in the sixth preceding a Yoenis Cespedes two-run laser homer over the left-field wall, a blow that boosted Oakland's lead to 6-2 and fairly well secured starter A.J. Griffin's first win of the year.
Reddick didn't feel like he was pressing early on. He just wasn't making solid contact even though he's struck out just once this season (after a team-leading 151 whiffs last season). Hence, he was relieved to hit the ball solid and far.
“It was good to get the first (homer) out of the way, especially in the first at-bat,” he said.
Manager Bob Melvin has actually liked Reddick's approach throughout spring and the first few games, since he's trying to hit more balls to left field instead of trying to pull everything.
“I throw to him quite often, and he's really been working on that,' Melvin said. “He's not trying to hit too many home runs in batting practice and he's trying to get his swing more level and use the whole field.”
He'll benefit from that.”
“It keeps my swing where it needs to be instead of trying to wrench balls into the right field, especially on the outer half,” he said. “It's just one way to keep the swing very short for me, and it's going to keep me strong throughout the year if I stay short and quick.”
Speaking with balls with hair on them, Cespedes' second homer of the year was a line drive bullet off Maurer, who gave up six runs in his first major league start. Adding to the offensive parade once again was Jed Lowrie, who hit his third and fourth doubles in two days and scored a pair of runs.
In short, for all the fretting about A's offense after two games, everything seems all well and good after four. Oakland now hits the road to Houston and Anaheim for three games apiece with a 14-run head of steam the past two days.
Griffin pitched the first six innings for Oakland, allowing seven hits and two runs (including Michael Morse's fourth homer in three days). He struck out three.
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