By John Hickey
Friday, September 6th, 2013 at 11:54 pm in 2013 regular season.
There’s an evolution taking place in the Oakland offense.
They aren’t content to score in just one or two innings any more.
The A’s are spreading their offense around, one of the reasons they’ve won six of their last eight games to move into a one-half game lead in the American League West over Texas.
Since Aug. 30, the A’s have played two games when their scoring has been limited to a single inning. They have played six games when their scoring has arced over multiple innings.
The A’s are 6-0 in those games, including Friday when they scored in four different innings en route to a 7-5 win over the Astros.
For a pitcher like A.J. Griffin, who struggled with his command before retiring the final eight Astro batters he faced, watching the offense put up runs repeatedly is water in the desert.
“It’s real disappointing when you give back runs (the way Griffin did twice Friday),’’ Griffin said. “But it’s real comforting when you have a good offense grinding out at-bats. They are doing a great job putting together at-bats.’’
For manager Bob Melvin, seeing this kind of repeat performance has been a long time coming. When the A’s struggled through the first half of August, they were leaving runners on base all over the place and had trouble putting together more than one or two scoring innings.
“We are always talking about our ability to add on runs,’’ the manager said. “We recently have been real good at this. We’re doing a much better job in situational hitting.’’
The A’s were 7-for-17 with men in scoring position Friday, and one of the 10 outs was an RBI-grounder from Yoenis Cespedes.
“This shows that we have different ways to score,’’ Josh Donaldson said. “That’s what it’s about. You aren’t always going to score seven or eight runs with the long ball.’’
The A’s had five different players drive in runs and four different players with multiple hits.
“When we lead off getting guys on base, were getting them over and getting them in,’’ catcher Derek Norris said. “Our lineup is balanced in that way.’’