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OAKLAND – A’s right fielder Josh Reddick enjoyed a breakout game Friday night.
A sign of things to come? Time will tell.
But for the first time in a while, Reddick was fielding questions from reporters about something positive after Oakland’s 11-3 victory over the Houston Astros.
[INSTANT REPLAY: A's score seven in first, rout Astros 11-3]
He launched a two-run homer in the first inning as part of a 3-for-4 night. The towering blast to right-center off right-hander Jarred Costart not only marked Reddick’s first homer, but his first extra base hit of 2014. He was hitting just .098 coming in (4 for 41).
“We all know it’s going to end at some point, we just get tired of waiting,” Reddick said. “Fortunately it is early in the season. That’s the good thing about it. Numbers can be irrelevant at this point.”
Reddick, who has been logging lots of extra time in the batting cage lately, said he didn’t feel any major differences Friday from previous games, other than his batting practice session was better.
“I actually skipped the cage today just to keep my mind off of it, and went straight into batting practice,” he said. “It seemed to help. I’ll be back in the cage tomorrow -- no B.P. on the field (because it’s a day game). Hopefully I’ll just take it from the cage and into the game.”
A’s hitting coach Chili Davis has expressed confidence that Reddick will bust out of his funk.
“All I want to see is that when he works, he’s working at the right stuff. Something that’s gonna help him make that transition,” Davis said earlier this week. “It’s a long year. Nobody around here is giving up on him, and I just keep reiterating that to him. Keep putting the work in and it’s gonna pay off.”
Davis said he wants Reddick to concentrate simply on getting consistent hard contact, and that his power will naturally sprout from that.
“And when it starts turning around, keep working, maintain it,” Davis said. “You don’t stick around this game unless you maintain your craft. He’s working at the right things.”
There were other encouraging signs for the A’s on Friday, their ninth win in their past 11 games. Yoenis Cespedes went 3 for 4 with a season-high three RBI and homered for the third time in five games. Alberto Callaspo, batting .340, hit a three-run homer during the A’s seven-run first inning. Coco Crisp homered in his return after being out of the lineup three games for a left hamstring injury.
The huge first inning was a welcome sight for A’s manager Bob Melvin.
“Mid-to-late in games we’ve been getting really good at-bats, but in the beginning we haven’t looked so good,” he said. “So it was good to get off to a good start and get a crooked number in the first inning.”