Despite big night, Moss still not 'locked in'

Moss on his hot streak: 'I'll take 'em any way I can'

Despite big night, Moss still not 'locked in'
April 11, 2013, 12:00 am
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I don't feel like I am as locked in as I've ever been.
—Brandon Moss

ANAHEIM -- Brandon Moss and his wife Allison are expecting a baby boy named Brody any day now. The newest addition to the Moss family would be kind to take his sweet time, because daddy is on a roll.

Moss went 3 for 5 with a single, a triple and a home run as he drove in a career-high tying five RBI in the A's 11-5 win over the Angels on Wednesday. He finished the game a double shy of the cycle.

[INSTANT REPLAY: A's 11, Angels 5]

"It's a testament to a good person that works his butt off and is now really getting some results at the big league level," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's a must for us. He's a guy that we really count on."

Moss has driven in nine runs in the past two games. He is on a five-game hitting streak. He is hitting .400 this season. You'd think he is feeling pretty good at the plate, right? Wrong.

"I don't feel like I am as locked in as I've ever been," Moss said. "I've had some hits that found holes and broken bats and rollovers that get through. Obviously I've hit some balls well too, but baseball is just like that."

After the game the A's skipper said he didn't notice that Moss was a double shy of the cycle. Moss may not have noticed either if it wasn't for one talkative teammate.

"I didn't think about it until [Josh Reddick] made sure I knew about it," Moss said. "You know the odds aren't good, so I was just trying to have a good at-bat and stay short like I've been doing the whole game and if it happened, it happened."

Moss ended up drawing a walk. Offensive accolades aside, he seemed to be more proud of what he did defensively. In the third inning Moss scooped a ball on a hop thrown by Josh Donaldson, who made a diving stop. In the sixth inning he completed a tough play sliding to beat Peter Bourjos to first base.

"You look at his defense on top of it and he's really starting to become a complete player," Melvin said. "He's an athletic first baseman."

After hitting .291 with 21 home runs last season, Moss made it his goal to improve his defense. In 55 games at first base in 2012, Moss made eight errors. He looks vastly improved this year.

"My goal was to get better at first base and be a good defensive first baseman," Moss said. "The offense will take care of itself."

The A's have won seven games in a row and have outscored their opponents by a total of 57-23. Their 7-2 record matches the best start they've had since 2003.

"It feels like we never really stopped from last season," starting pitcher Tommy Milone said. "We were on fire at the end of last year. It's awesome as a pitcher to go out there and get some run support."

Milone got the win on Wednesday after allowing four runs over five innings of work. He got all the support he needed from the A's offense and had some support in the stands as well. Milone, a Southern California native, estimated that he had about 75 friends and family members in the stands to watch him pitch.

Oakland has a chance to sweep their division rivals on Thursday before heading home to take on the Detroit Tigers on Friday. After Detroit eliminated them in the American League Division Series in 2012, Oakland might be primed for some revenge.

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