Game 87 wrapup: Reddick value is more than a bat

The A’s have gone a long way (51 wins) without a lot offensively from Josh Reddick this season, but now is as good a time as any to remember that Reddick is not a one-dimensional ballplayer.

He had two hits – and Oakland manager Bob Melvin would argue that he should have had a third – and a sacrifice fly in the A’s 6-3 win over Kansas City Friday. He scored three of the A’s six runs and drove in two others.

Still, that’s been the kind of game that’s been an anomaly for Reddick this season. What hasn’t been weird has been the rest of his game. He plays first-rate defense and on Friday he showed that he hasn’t lost his edge when running the bases.

    It was Reddick’s legs as much as anything that put the A’s in position to win this one.

He got Oakland’s first hit when he legged out what should have been a single in the third inning and turned it in to a double. And when Eric Sogard followed with a hit that barely reached the outfield grass, Reddick picked up the “go’’ sign from third base coach Mike Gallego and defied the odds by scoring.

Two innings later, he seemed to have doubled John Jaso, who’d walked, in from first, but Reddick never stopped running and wound up at third base with an RBI triple instead. Reddick would later score on Coco Crisp’s sacrifice fly.

“He probably runs as hard as anybody we have,’’ manager Bob Melvin said.

Reddick is fully aware that he’s not going to come close to his team-leading homer (32) and RBI (85) totals of 2012. And his .217 average isn’t a pleasure for him to deal with, either. But he said he’s not going to stop playing hard.

“I felt like I made good reads on where the ball was tonight,’’ Reddick said. He added that he was running on his own in every instance except on the Sogard single where “I was surprised Gags gave me the go-ahead. But I just ran it as hard as I could.’’

That’s the norm for Reddick, even in an off year, which is one reason the A’s have no problem sticking with him even when he struggles at the plate.

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.