A's notes: Reddick's tooth trouble, Griffin throws, etc.

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A's notes: Reddick's tooth trouble, Griffin throws, etc.

OAKLAND -- The A's return home to a baseball diamond with a football field running through it. It must be that time of year. Chip Hale spent the morning walking the field with head groundskeeper Clay Wood who did a fantastic job converting the stadium back to its baseball set up. A's manager Bob Melvin says the key is for the outfielders to take ground balls off the strange spots. There are surprisingly few rough looking patches in the grass. - The big news of the day is that Josh Reddick is not in the lineup. He underwent another dental procedure on Friday to try and remedy the pain he is feeling from his tooth extraction. Reddick was held up at the dentist and didn't get to the ballpark until after batting practice started. "If there was any way he could be out there, he'd be out there," Melvin said. He's played in some pain this year and he is a guy that likes to be out there for his club. You know it's bothering him some if he can't get in the lineup." In a best case scenario Reddick will be available to pinch hit on Friday, and will be back in the starting lineup Saturday. - That was the bad news. The good news is that A.J. Griffin threw a bullpen and reported no issues. He threw all of his pitches. His big 12-6 curveball was bending like usual and his fastball had some velocity, as the sound of the catcher's mitt popping was pronounced. "He'll throw another bullpen Sunday and then we'll see where we're at as far as a rehab start or something along those lines," Melvin said. The A's will have some tough decisions to make soon. Griffin could be back shortly. So could Brett Anderson who will throw a bullpen on Saturday. Anderson struck out a season-high seven batters in five innings of work in his last rehab start. He threw 96 pitches. The A's want to see him get around 100 pitches. After his Saturday bullpen session Melvin says the A's will decide what the next step is for him. - Seth Smith is eligible to return from the disabled list on Saturday. He won't. He is still with the team and Melvin said he will make a couple rehab starts before returning. He was on the field and looked to be in good health running the bases and taking batting practice before the game. - Brandon Inge was on the field as well. He made significant progress on Friday, but he's still a ways from returning to the A's lineup.
"This was a big day for him," Melvin said. "He can finally lift his arm all the way up over his shoulder level. The last several days he was not able to."Melvin says the A's will take it slow with Inge because they don't want to put him in a situation where his shoulder pops out of the socket again.

Healy exits early, Blackburn suffers first loss with A's

Healy exits early, Blackburn suffers first loss with A's

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK — Michael Conforto hit a pair of two-run homers and Jerry Blevins rescued the Mets' bullpen with a five-out save as New York held off the Oakland Athletics 7-5 on Friday night for its third straight victory.

T.J. Rivera put the Mets ahead in the sixth inning with a two-run single that turned into a Little League home run. Rivera came all the way around to score on the play after third baseman Matt Chapman, trying to get Rivera at second, threw the ball away into right field for a costly error that made it 5-3.

Moments earlier, New York loaded the bases when Lucas Duda's bad-hop infield single struck first baseman Ryon Healy near the temple. Healy left the game and walked off under his own power with a swollen bruise next to his left eye.

Conforto's second homer made it 7-3 in the seventh. Oakland rallied for two in the eighth, but Blevins replaced closer Addison Reed with the bases loaded and got five straight outs against his former team for his fifth major league save and first this season.

Normally a lefty specialist, Blevins recorded five outs in a game for the first time since 2014 with Washington. He retired All-Star slugger Yonder Alonso on a foul popup and struck out Khris Davis to escape the eighth-inning jam.

"We just tried to find some matchups that worked," Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Yoenis Cespedes had three hits after raising eyebrows when he told the San Francisco Chronicle before the game that he wants to play the final season of his career in Oakland, his first big league team.

Cespedes, who signed a $110 million, four-year contract in the offseason to remain with the Mets, also said A's manager Bob Melvin is his favorite skipper and he doesn't think there's a better one.

"Bob's a great manager. I don't blame him," Collins said after the game. "This is the first I've heard of it."

After the game, Cespedes clarified his comments while speaking with reporters through a translator and said he meant no disrespect toward Collins or the Mets.

Yoenis Cespedes: 'I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland'

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AP

Yoenis Cespedes: 'I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland'

After signing a four-year, $36 million deal with the A's before the 2012 season, Yoenis Cespedes' time in Oakland came to an end halfway through his third season.

The current Mets star certainly hasn't forgetten his time in Oakland, sharing his desire to end his career back where he started it to the San Francisco Chronicle

“I wish that happens,” Cespedes said on Friday with the A's taking on his Mets in New York. “I told (Jerry) Blevins, ‘I don’t know how many years I’m going to play, but I’m going to play the last year of my career with Oakland.’ I don’t know if that’s possible or not, but that’s my goal.”

Cespedes, who has also played in Boston and Detroit, loved his time in Oakland. 

“I still love the A’s, they were the first team to give me an opportunity to play in the big leagues," Cespedes said. “I love Oakland all the time.”

Another key reason for Cespedes' hope to return to the A's one day is how much he enjoyed playing for manager Bob Melvin. 

“I tell my guys here all the time that he’s the best manager for me so far,” Cespedes said. “I don’t think there’s a better manager than Melvin.”

Cespedes hit .262 with 66 home runs in his time with the A's. Over his six-year career, the slugging outfielder owns a career .272 batting average with 146 homers.