OAKLAND COLISEUM — The A’s are back to playing their brand of “green collar” baseball, using timely hitting and solid pitching to earn a split of their four-game series against the Mariners.
Josh Reddick ended his 0-for-10 slump, hitting a two-run homer, doubling and knocking in four RBIs. Jed Lowrie added two more doubles as the A’s routed the Mariners 8-2 Thursday afternoon.
A.J. Griffin pitched six innings scattering seven hits and two runs, striking out three for the win in his 2013 debut.
Manager Bob Melvin was pleased to see Reddick get off the schneid:
A’s manager Bob Melvin
“The longer it goes, the more you press a little bit and then to hit the home run and have it be the big blow of the game at that time and then have good at-bats after that makes you relax some. So hopefully we’re past all that with everybody.”
Reddick had been getting some grief from A’s fans about his Forrest Gump-like beard, but he says he’s not shaving the facial hair:
A’s right fielder Josh Reddick
“On the o-for I think everybody is getting a little too superstitious too early. I mean we’re four games in. Let it go, so it’s not like I’m going to go o-for the whole year. That’s just fans being fans on Twitter so I’ve just got to let it go in one ear and out the other. And it’s my face I’ll do what I want with it (laughter).”
Rookie Brandon Mauer took it on the chin in his Major League debut for Seattle. He was cuffed around for eight hits and six earned runs in six innings. He allowed both home runs to Reddick and Cespedes.
One bright spot for the M’s continues to be slugger Michael Morse. He homered in the 6th inning, a rocket to left field. Morse has four home runs and six RBI in the first four games of the season.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge
“Well Michael’s off to a great start. He’s strong and he’s using the whole field. He fights through at-bats and he never gives in.”
Oakland jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Lead-off man Coco Crisp singled to left. With one out, Reddick hit a mammoth blast to right center for his first hit of 2013.
The A’s added a run in the fifth. After Chris Young doubled to left, he scored on a single to right by catcher John Jaso.
The green and gold broke it open in the sixth on Reddick’s RBI double to left-center scoring Lowrie. Yoenis Cespedes followed with a no-doubt line drive homer to left field.
The Athletics capped off the scoring with two more runs in the eighth on sacrifice flies from Reddick and rookie Nate Freiman.
As for the new shortstop, Lowrie played collegiately at Stanford and he’s enjoying hitting at the spacious Coliseum:
A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie
“So far so good. Obviously I got off to a quick start offensively. We turned it on the last two games, played much better as a team and that was the most evident things as compared to the first two games.”
Up next for the A’s, a trip to Houston to face their new division rivals.
The Astros were in the National League from their inception in 1962 but are now a member of the AL West. It’ll be a reunion for Lowrie and Freiman who was a product of the Astros farm system.
Friday, the A’s face former prospect Brad Peacock who was traded to Houston in exchange for Lowrie. The A’s counter with Dan Straily. First pitch is at 5:05 p.m.