A’s put together a long-awaited rally, return to win column

The A’s came through with a much-needed victory tonight, using a four-run rally in the eighth to beat the Angels 5-3 and halt a three-game losing streak. A few things for A’s fans to be encouraged about …

–This team finally came through with a timely hit – a few of them actually – with men on base. It started with Coco Crisp, the No. 2 hitter who was struggling as much as anyone in the lineup. He delivered the game-tying single in the eighth that really got the ball rolling. “He is a guy we count on late in games, a guy we feel really good about,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

You have to wonder what Crisp’s state of mind is like right now after being switched from center to left field to accommodate Yoenis Cespedes. You’d think that getting a crucial hit to help key a victory would be a big boost for the veteran.

–Josh Reddick had a heck of a game, going 3 for 4 and driving in the go-ahead run with a double. That’s the kind of impact the A’s need from their No. 3 hitter. Reddick had been one of the few players hitting the ball hard in recent games, though he didn’t have much to show for it. Maybe more hits will start dropping for him. And he’s really starting to show his value defensively, throwing a runner out on the bases for the second straight night. He nailed Albert Pujols on Tuesday, as Pujols tried to go from first to third on Kendrys Morales’ single to right. “I can’t express how valuable it is as a pitcher to have that behind you,” A’s starter Tyson Ross said.

–Cespedes had gone six games without an RBI before singling in two insurance runs in the eighth. I still think this guy is going to throw his back out with every mighty cut he takes, but when Angels reliever David Carpenter left a pitch over the plate in the eighth, Cespedes made him pay for it.

–Ross got 12 of 16 outs on ground balls and didn’t walk a batter – the kind of outing he needs to be successful. He didn’t show any fear facing Pujols for the first time, limiting the slugger to an infield single in three at-bats against him. “That’s the best I’ve seen him throw,” Melvin said. “We really needed to win a game, and for him to give us that, against that lineup, is terrific.”

Joe Stiglich