The Texas Rangers clearly had a target painted on Josh Reddick.
They know the A’s right fielder as an aggressive base runner. They tried to take advantage of that, catcher Robinson Chirinos repeatedly throwing behind him at first base in an effort to pick him off.
It didn’t work, although it was close enough that in the eighth inning the umpires had to have a video review to determine if Reddick was out or had been tagged by first baseman Prince Fielder.
“They were treating me like I was Coco (Crisp),” Reddick said through a grin, referring to the A’s top base runner.
Later in the inning, center fielder Leonys Martin climbed the wall in right-center to bring back Daric Barton’s bid for a home run. Martin then threw to first base. Reddick, already past second base, raced back to first and beat the tag.
Or at least he did until there was another umpires’ review on this one, Reddick was called out.
“It was a great catch by Martin,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “Josh got Reddicked.’’
The A’s like to use Reddick’s last name as a verb to describe particularly brilliant top-of-the-wall plays in the outfield. You may recalled in spring training, the Giants’ Mike Morse was “Reddicked’’ twice in one Cactus League game by Reddick, both times forcing his glove and much of his upper body above the wall to bring the ball back.
“I was telling Curt (Young, the pitching coach) that I got Reddicked,’’ Reddick said. “It’s not so good to be on the other side.’’
Even so, it was a good day for the right fielder. He came into his fourth-inning at-bat 1-for-17 against Texas ace Yu Darvish and crushed a triple into the right field corner. He came up with two more hits later in the game and after a 4-for-41 start to the season, he’s on a tear and has his average up to .250.
“He had really good swings against Darvish,’’ Melvin said. “And we haven’t always seen that. But he’s swinging good now.’’
Reddick talked less about his own success and more about the team’s success against Darvish, who is now 1-7 with a 4.73 ERA lifetime against the A’s, the last seven losses coming in succession.
“My guess is that we are that one team he struggles against,’’ Reddick said. “Everybody has one of those. Against the rest of the league it seems like he strikes out 12 to 15 a game.’’