When Josh Reddick flew out to left field to end the sixth inning Friday, he slammed his bat down so hard if his name was Jed Clampett he would have struck oil.
Reddick has been on a nice run since coming off the disabled list five weeks ago. Coming into Friday he had a .299 average since July 22 with eight doubles and six homers.
He would have given those extra base hits all away to have come up with a bleeder over the infield in the sixth inning Friday.
Oakland was in a 2-0 hole after Coco Crisp’s valiant try for an over-the-wall theft of a Chris Iannetta had gone for naught. The ball fell out of Crisp’s glove as the center fielder hit the wall so hard he knocked himself out of the game, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead.
The A’s had nothing going against Jared Weaver for five innings, but a Sam Fuld single, a walk to Josh Donaldson and Weaver’s hitting of Brandon Moss with a pitch loaded the bases for Reddick.
The right fielder took two balls, fouled a Weaver pitch off, then hit the most routine of opposite-field fly balls to Josh Hamilton in left to end the inning. And, yes, Reddick was steamed.
“The way I look at it, it’s the biggest at-bat of the game,’’ Reddick said. “We finally get Weaver in a jam, the game’s within reach. All I’ve got to do is dunk one in.
“I’m not trying to hit a home run. I know he’s not going to pitch me inside, and I’m trying to lean over the plate and I just couldn’t let it get there.’’
Reddick doesn’t particularly like to show his rage in after big at-bats, but this was bigger than most, maybe the biggest of the season given that a single ties the game and double or more could have given the A’s the lead and maybe chopped Oakland’s deficit to the Angels in the West to one game instead of seeing it rise to a season-high three.
“I’ve tried to calm it down with my temper,’’ Reddick said. “But in a situation like that where we need a big hit, against these guys in a month when stuff isn’t going our way, I feel like I’ve got to come through there in that scenario. Considering the way I’ve been swinging, I had nothing but confidence going into that at-bat anyway.’’
While Reddick has been hitting relatively well, The A’s are 12-15 this month, already clinching the first losing month for an A’s team since May of 2012. They’ve been a model of consistency, and because of that, this current spell of inconsistency is troublesome. Through it all, however, Reddick say the A’s can’t be discounted.
And how are the players holding up when the clubhouse doors are closed?
“A lot better than most people expect,’’ he said. “We’re not coming in here and telling ourselves `we gotta win this game,’ `we gotta win that game.’ Nobody’s pressing. That’s the best way we can handle is.
“As much as you see the negativity around the (Twitter) base of this team, when you come in the clubhouse every day, nothing’s changed. It’s like we’re back in first place. You can’t fret on it. You have to go out and play the game, and that’s what we’re doing.’’