0

Slumping A’s hitters find no early relief in Cincy

I spent some time talking with Brandon Moss before the game about hitting in Great American Ball Park, home of the Reds.

Moss, who played two-plus years in Pittsburgh and visited Cincinnati regularly with the Pirates, had his eyes light up at the thought of playing here, even if it’s just for two games.

“For me, here and Philly are the two best places to hit,’’ Moss said. “The ball carries, and you don’t always have to hit the ball good.’’

    Moss talked about Cincinnati as being a place where even a broken-bat fly ball has a chance to carry out in every part of the park except, perhaps, in left-center.

“The ball can jump for you here,’’ Moss said.

Josh Reddick walked by and the two started comparing the broken-bat home runs they’ve hit. Moss was particularly proud of one he hit into the second deck in Houston, while Reddick fixated on a broken-bat homer he had in Oakland last season.

Moss’s homer went farther, to be sure, but Reddick said getting a broken-bat homer in a home run graveyard like Oakland is the more accomplished feat.

Speaking of broken bats, we have the A’s lineup. Oakland came into Tuesday shut out in four of its last 20 games and averaging under three runs per game if you take out a two-day explosion a week ago when the A’s scored 19 runs.

Nothing the A’s did in the first four innings Tuesday suggested the club is close to breaking free. Sure, there were plenty of second deck homers in batting practice, but once the game came, the A’s only hit the ball in the air four times in the first 14 at-bats. Oakland did have a double and a triple, but both were grounders inside the first base line that easily could have gone foul.

In any event, Mat Latos, the Reds’ starter, survived Eric Sogard’s double in the first with one out and Coco Crisp’s one-out triple in the third.

Oakland got just one good swing with men on in the first four innings. Reddick who came into the game with a .208 average, followed Josh Donaldson’s two-out walk in the fourth with a rocket to right-center, but Jay Bruce of the Reds ran it down.

And the zeros go on – 14 innings and counting through the fourth inning.

John Hickey

Returning to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.