Josh Reddick's season-long slump officially ended Saturday when he backed up a three-hit game with another three-hit performance, including a game-winning single with one out in the ninth inning in a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros. In collecting three of the A's 14 hits, Reddick upped his average to .200, or more than double where he sat at the start of the three-game series against the Astros. Sure, the right fielder has put in plenty of hard work in trying to bust out of a 4-for-41 funk to start the season. But, the answer to regaining his stroke might have been as simple as stumbling across a box of his bats stashed above teammate Alberto Callaspo's locker. Reddick used one of those bats Friday in the series opener and banged out three hits in four at-bats. So, naturally, he snagged another one of his bats from that once-hidden box Saturday and hammered three more. "We were blaming it on that," Reddick said of his slump before finding the stash. Reddick started Saturday's game 0 for 2. He finished with three straight singles, with the third one scoring Yoenis Cespedes with the decisive run. Cespedes' run was the only time the A's held an advantage on the scoreboard. As he touched home, it set off a wild celebration in the middle of the infield, with Reddick somewhere in the middle. "We often talk about guys who are in deep slumps, sometimes it only takes one game where you get a couple of hits or a couple of balls up, you start to feel a lot better about yourself," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Reddick. It wasn't just Reddick who made a winner out of Dan Otero and prevented starter Scott Kazmir from being saddled with his first loss of the season. Shortstop Jed Lowrie ignited the three-run rally in the ninth with a leadoff home run. Callaspo tied the score with a run-scoring single that also enabled Cespedes to get to third. Perhaps most impressive, Reddick's hits Saturday were to the left side, the right side and up the middle, respectively. He now is dictating at-bats. "It's showing me it's where I want to be in the box with every pitch," Reddick said. " ... Being able to not be so pull-happy or go-the-other-way-happy shows me that I'm where I need to be and I have enough confidence in myself to do everything." Kazmir's confidence hasn't wavered from the time he signed with the A's. He turned in his fourth straight impressive outing and kept the A's within striking distance through eight innings of six-hit, no-walk ball. Melvin said, "He pitched great again. He threw over 100 pitches today, basically in the same fashion we've seen him every time. He certainly didn't deserve to get a loss." The Astros scratched out runs in the third, fourth and fifth. Meanwhile, the A's weren't having much success against Brett Oberholtzer and two relievers.
Oakland A's rally past Houston Astros 4-3
Oakland Tribune | Apr 20