A’s right fielder Josh Reddick may have played his way back into a start or two in the near future.
Talking before the game, manager Bob Melvin said he was finding it difficult to put Reddick, who hasn’t played in over two weeks thanks to a wrist injury, into the lineup. Brandon Moss and Daric Barton both are doing well in Reddick’s absence and the A’s were 11-4 since Reddick’s injury.
The A’s made it 12-4 Wednesday, but the scope of the win, 18-3, and the fact that the A’s scored early and often changed the dynamics for Reddick.
Before the game Melvin was talking about getting a game where he could find a couple of at-bats for Reddick so that he wouldn’t go into the starting lineup cold.
Then after the A’s came up with their biggest inning of the season, 10 runs in the fourth, Melvin was able to play with his lineup, resting some players and letting others shake the rust off, Reddick included.
The right fielder wound up coming to the plate three times getting a double – it was originally ruled a homer, then reversed on video review – and a walk.
Did that change things for Melvin looking at right field?
“It may have (changed the plans), yes,’’ the manager said. “A lot of times when you get a big hit like that your first time, it can shoe away the cobwebs.’’
On the flip side, Moss, who has been playing right field, had three hits, including two doubles and Barton had three hits as well, so it’s not like either man did anything to warrant a day off.
–Sonny Gray spent probably 30 minutes on the bench during the top of the fourth inning.
The A’s were busy scoring 10 runs for him then, so he was cool with it.
“I’d much rather sit for 30 minutes than sit for two or three minutes,’’ Gray said. The rookie starter is now 3-3 and after allowing two runs has a 2.63 ERA. “When you are on the bench that long, you know you are scoring some runs.’’
Catcher Stephen Vogt, who had a career-best three hits, said Gray showed poise in getting back on the mound after the 10-run inning and having a 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth with the help of a double play grounder.
“It couldn’t have been easy for him,’’ Vogt said. “It’s not easy on defense going out after a long inning like that, much less having to go back out and pitch. But he had good stuff early, and at times he was electric.’’
–When talking early Wednesday about having to sit and wait his turn before getting into a game, A’s starter-turned-reliever Tommy Milone said it was likely that only having a starter injured or hit very hard would get him into a game now that the A’s roster is expanded with more than enough pitchers to fill any role needed.
The one scenario that he didn’t talk about was Oakland getting a huge early blowout lead. So naturally that’s what happened Wednesday as the A’s scored 10 times in the fourth inning, led 16-2 after five innings, allowing Milone to get his first big league relief appearance in the sixth.
“In the back of my mind, I was thinking that was a possibility,’’ Milone said afterward. “But you never think today’s the day we’re going to score (18) runs.’’
Milone only threw one inning. Two other pitchers who hadn’t thrown in the big leagues this September, Pedro Figueroa and Pat Neshek, each threw one inning, as did Evan Scribner, who has bounced between Triple-A Sacramento and the big leagues like a yo-yo this season.
“It was a good day to get a lot of people work,’’ Melvin said. “the only trouble was, `who do you take out?’ ’’