By John Hickey
Friday, April 19th, 2013 at 8:45 pm in 2013 regular season.
A’s shortstop Jed Lowrie has a spot in the Rays’ hearts.
Used in the ninth inning of Game 7 of the American League Championship Series as a pinch-hitter by Boston, Lowrie grounded out as the potential tying run.
It’s just as well for the Rays that the Lowrie that showed up Friday night wasn’t the one on display that night, because if he had, Tampa might not have made it the World Series that year.
Lowrie, the 2012 version, had three singles and a double Friday, the one man in the Oakland lineup the Rays could not stop.
Not many people are these days. After his third career four-hit game, Lowrie has moved onto the AL leaderboard with a 4.13 average.
His first three weeks for the A’s have been special. The switch-hitter has not only hit consistently from both the left and the right side, but he has moved into the cleanup spot with Yoenis Cespedes on the disabled list.
He came in with a .421 average while batting cleanup and now he’s pushed that to an astounding .522 (12-for23).
–The A’s will be crossing their fingers that Brett Anderson isn’t hurt after the left-hander came out Friday’s start after just one inning with a sprained right ankle.
He’s going to have to pitch better, though, or a quick return won’t mean as much.
Anderson threw strikes on just half of his 36 pitches Friday. In his other starts he was closer to 60 percent strikes.
Look for pitching coach Curt Young, himself a left-hander of promising abilities back in the day, to work with Anderson between starts.
Anderson will likely listen, because he doesn’t want to keep feeling like this.
“It’s kind of depressing and embarrassing,’’ he said. “for the first starts I’ve had, I haven’t been about to talk about pitching. It’s always been about health.
“It’s kind of disheartening for the team to go out there and throw one inning and put your bullpen in jeopardy for the rest of the series, or the rest of the road trip.’’
–Coco Crisp’s 12-game hitting streak is notable for several reasons.
It’s the longest active streak in the big leagues right now.
It’s Crisp’s longest streak while playing for Oakland.
It’s the longest streak for Crisp since 2008, when he was playing for the Red Sox
And it’s his longest streak since his best-ever 14-gamer back in 2004.
He’s hitting .392 on the streak with 13 extra-base hits.
Crisp’s seventh-inning solo homer is not only his team-best fifth, but all five of them have come on the road. He didn’t hit his fifth homer until July 25 last season.