A’s: Jaso, Reddick could bolster offense down the stretch

John Jaso has been on a month-long tear, hitting.326 to get his overall average to .284.

John Jaso has been on a month-long tear, hitting.326 to get his overall average to .284.

It can be easy to overlook John Jaso or Josh Reddick in the A’s offense since Oakland has three players with more individual homers than the 13 combined that Jaso and Reddick have.

It can be easy. It just wouldn’t be wise.

Jaso is in the middle of a nice tear, going 17-for-45 (.378) with four doubles, two triples, a homer and 10 RBIs in his last 13 games. Over a longer stretch, he’s hitting .326 in his last 27 games.

Reddick, the man of 32 homers who has been injured much of the last year and half, is healthy now with the help of a knee brace, and with his solo homer Saturday he is 5-for-16 (313) since coming off the disabled list with three doubles, the homer and five runs scored.

   Jaso has been a man who generates offense by getting on base since the A’s picked the veteran catcher up from the Mariners before the 2013 season. But now he’s also someone driving in runs. It was his two-run homer Saturday that took the A’s from behind to ahead en route to a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers.

“He’s a guy hits well at the top of the order,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “He’s been on a nice run lately. He has the ability to square some balls up, he has the ability to walk and get on base and when he’s hot it seems like he’s driving in runs and he’s on base all the time.’’

Jaso took advantage of a mistake by Texas starter Nick Tepesch when the right-hander left a changeup up in the sixth inning with Eric Sogard on third base, the first of back-to-back homers for the A’s that broke the game open.

“I hit it into the first row,’’ Jaso said. “(Yoenis) Cespedes hit it a few rows farther than mine. Once again. It just goes to show that a guy can look like he’s going to pitch nine innings, and with one swing you are right back in control. This team is never out of it.’’

Reddick has been out of it, literally out of commission, for much of the year while serving two terms on the disabled list. Those two turns cost him 38 of the 103 games the A’s have played so far, and he’s lost playing time even in the games when he’s been healthy.

A fit Reddick could make a huge difference for the A’s from now through the end of the season.

“I made it to the fourth game (after coming off the DL) this time, and I [played all nine innings, so I’m happy with that,’’ Reddick said. “This brace seems to be doing its job, and I haven’t had any issues with it since I came back.

“It definitely feels good to come back and contribute and not just come back and be a burden in the lineup.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.