Reddick finds home run stroke
08/10/2013 12:00 AM
08/12/2013 8:39 AM
TORONTO – Josh Reddick snapped out of his season-long slump with a bang – three of them, to be precise.
Reddick homered in three consecutive at-bats, Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes also connected, and the A's beat the Toronto Blue Jays 14-6 on Friday night.
"Fantastic," Reddick said. "Finally got something to go my way. You hit it over there, they can't catch it."
Reddick was hitless in his previous 20 at-bats before hitting a solo blast off Esmil Rogers in the third inning that hit the facing of the second deck in right field. Reddick hit another solo homer in the fifth, an opposite-field shot to left off reliever Neil Wagner, and then smacked a three-run drive off Juan Perez in the sixth.
"That was a breakthrough," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Long time coming for him."
The home runs were the sixth, seventh and eighth of the season for Reddick, who has three career multi-homer games. All three homers came with two outs.
Designated hitter Seth Smith watched all three homers from the on-deck circle.
"I was like, 'Aw man, how am I going to follow that?' " Smith joked.
Reddick is the sixth player this season to hit three homers in a game. It's the first three-homer game by an A's player since Erubiel Durazo did it in a 5-4 victory at Baltimore on Aug. 18, 2004.
Facing Sergio Santos with the bases empty in his final at-bat in the eighth, Reddick took a mighty swing on a 1-0 pitch but didn't make contact. He worked the count to 3-1 before grounding out to second.
Reddick said he was "anxious and shaking in the box" as he chased a fourth homer.
"There's nothing else on your mind at that point," he said. "My 1-0 swing showed that I wasn't trying to hit a single to left."
Reddick hit a career-best 32 homers last season.
"This could be a great thing for him and us to kind of turn the corner and get hot at the right time," winning pitcher Jarrod Parker said.
The A's entered the game batting .219 in 22 games since July 10, but set a season high in runs and pounded 17 hits to win for the sixth time in eight games at Rogers Centre.
Lowrie had four hits and four RBIs before leaving for a pinch runner, coming within a triple of the cycle. It was his third career four-hit game.
Parker worked six innings as the A's won for the second time in eight games and prevented Texas from overtaking them for first place in the American League West.
Parker (8-6) allowed three runs and six hits, walked one and struck out six to win back-to-back starts for the first time since a three-game winning streak from May 28-June 7.
Oakland jumped on Rogers in the first, scoring four runs before the struggling right-hander could record an out. Coco Crisp led off with a single, Eric Sogard walked, and Lowrie blasted a three-run homer, his ninth. Cespedes lined the next pitch out to left, his 18th, the fifth time this season the A's have gone back-to-back.
The A's tacked on two more in the second on an RBI single by Crisp and a rare double-play sacrifice fly by Sogard with Crisp running on the pitch and unable to get back to first safely.
After Reddick connected in the fifth, Smith and Stephen Vogt followed with back-to-back doubles to make it 9-3.
Leading 12-3 on Reddick's third homer, the A's added two more off Perez in the seventh on an RBI single by Lowrie and an RBI grounder by Cespedes. Perez left one pitch later with an elbow injury and was replaced by Santos.
About This BlogMatt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at email@example.com. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.
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