By John Hickey
Monday, August 19th, 2013 at 11:22 pm in 2013 regular season.
Brandon Moss had a big second half last year for the A’s, having hit 14 of his 21 homers from July on.
So he was a natural person for newly acquired shortstop Jed Lowrie to turn to this spring when Lowrie, who’d just been acquired by the A’s from Houston, wanted to know if everything he’d heard about the Coliseum being tough on hitters was true.
“I told him, `It’s not as bad as you’ve heard,’ ’’ Moss said Monday night, 45 minutes after his game-winning homer to dead center field gave the A’s a 2-1 win over Seattle. “If you hit the ball in the gap, it plays fair.’’
That was before the current weather patterns have turned the Coliseum into a graveyard for batting averages.
“Now I’m looking like the biggest liar ever,’’ Moss said, laughing.
He could afford to laugh because the A’s won for the fourth time in five games and, offensive problems notwithstanding, seem to be getting their groove together. But the troubles with the Coliseum are real.
Oakland is scoring half a run more per game on the road (4.69) than at home (4.11). Batting averages are depressed up and down the lineup. And, Moss said, Monday was an example of why that’s so.
“I know you look at the box score and we only got six hits,’’ he said. “But we were hitting the ball hard all night. We had line drives that were getting caught. There’s nothing you can do about that.
“The guy that’s affected the most this year is Jed. Guys like Red (Josh Reddick) and me, we only hit the ball in the gap on one side. Jed’s a switch-hitter. He’s hitting the gap on both sides. This place just plays so big at night.’’
Not big enough, however, to contain Moss’s game-winning blast.
“He’s one of those guys that when he squares it up, he can hit it out of any stadium,’’ manager Bob Melvin said.
–Long after the game was over, Reddick came by Moss’s locker and gave him a big hug and said “thanks for bailing me out.’’
Moss protested, pointing out that Reddick’s throw from right field to third base to cut down Kendrys Morales in the seventh inning had set the stage for the A’s to win.
Reddick dismissed that because it was his bobble of a Nick Franklin single to right-center that put Franklin at second base, from which spot he scored on Morales’ single.
“I know I should have been happy that I got Morales,’’ Reddick said. “But I can’t help being upset at the error. I just took my eye off the ball. If I don’t do that, the whole inning is different and they don’t score.’’