OAKLAND — Despite some key injuries to starting pitchers Brandon McCarthy, Dallas Braden, and Brett Anderson, the Oakland A’s are exceeding expectations.
In limited at-bats, Brandon Moss already has 10 home runs, second most on the team to Josh Reddick, himself a huge surprise. When he was traded to Oakland, the criticism on Reddick was that he was at best a fourth outfielder. He leads the A’s with 19 home runs and 41 runs batted in.
“There’s always that additional incentive to try to beat that team that ended up trading you away,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. Reddick’s here and (pitching coach) Curt (Young). Curt I’m sure had a nice little series especially with the one-run wins the last two days and the pitching staff pitching so well. I know he’s pretty happy about that.”
Now the A’s trail the Rangers by 10 games in the American League West but they’re only one game below .500 after sweeping the Red Sox in a three game set.
“Obviously there’s a lot of games I felt we could’ve won, especially against Texas and teams that your record directly reflects,” A’s third baseman Brandon Inge said. “If you win them you gain a lot of ground but this clubhouse and this group of guys in general. We’re definitely underdogs and I like being underdogs but we can sneak up on anyone, there’s no doubt about it.”
Rookie A.J. Griffin has pitched at least six innings in his three outings and the A’s are 2-1 in his starts. He once again gave the team a chance to win despite allowing the 400th home run to David Ortiz.
The A’s starting pitchers have allowed two runs or fewer in 18 of their last 20 outings. Something that surprised Griffin.
“We just go out there and try to do well,” Griffin said. “Every time we go out that’s the way it’s been going for us lately. That’s impressive I didn’t even realize that. It’s pretty cool…I’m kind of speechless.”
Brandon Moss was 6-for-8 in this series with two home runs and five RBIs.
Oakland gets the day off on Thursday before taking on the Seattle Mariners for a weekend series that will take them to the All-Star break.