Sunday, April 10, 2016

Reddick homers, Hill K's 10 to handle Seattle

 Josh Reddick homered for the second straight night and left-hander Rich Hillpicked up his first win for the A's with six innings of one-run ball as Oakland topped the Mariners, 6-1, on Saturday in front of 36,424 fans at Safeco Field.
Reddick's two-run shot and a pair of RBI hits by Jed Lowrie helped the A's even their record at 3-3 with their second win in a row against Seattle, which managed just a solo homer off Hill by catcher Chris Iannetta.
"I was sitting offspeed, thinking curveball, just saw a changeup up and put a good swing on it," Reddick said. "Up until tonight, I've been feeling really uncomfortable at the plate since the season started. When I hit the home run yesterday, that was the first time I've felt really comfortable at the plate."
Hill scattered five hits and one walk while racking up 10 strikeouts, one shy of his career best, as he bounced back from a rough Opening Day outing to lower his ERA to 3.12.
Right-hander Nathan Karns took the loss in his Mariners debut, allowing seven hits and four runs in five frames. After scoring 21 runs in taking two-of-three at Texas, the Mariners have totaled just three runs in their first two games at Safeco.
"We haven't swung the bat very well, obviously, the last couple nights," said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose team fell to 2-3. "Rich Hill threw the ball really well and had us off our game tonight. If we don't hit, it's just tough to get any momentum going or anything like that. It happens. We're five games into this. It is a long season. But offensively we just haven't been able to get anything going."
Two-out triumphs: The A's came out on top in large part because of their ability to deliver with two outs, getting five hits in such situations -- three of which resulted in a run, including Reddick's two-run homer in the fifth. The trend began early, as the A's strung together three consecutive singles from Danny ValenciaStephen Vogt and Lowrie off Karns with two outs in a two-run first inning, all with two strikes too. Vogt finished with three hits, including two doubles, and the A's also got two-hit nights from Valencia and Coco Crisp, who notched career stolen bases No. 300 and 301.
"That was really good to see Coco doing what he's capable of," Reddick said. "He hit the ball hard every time he touched it it seemed like."
"It was just a complete game win all around on all aspects," Vogt said. "Good base running, good timely hitting, good situational hitting. Just an overall great win."
Long-ball parade continues: Iannetta got Seattle on the board with a two-out solo homer to left-center in the second inning. Iannetta's first home run for the Mariners not only pulled them within a run at 2-1, it gave Seattle homers in each of its first five games. That's the best streak to open a season for the Mariners since they went deep in eight straight games at the start of 1998, the franchise's final full season in the Kingdome.
Hill delivers: Hill's 10-strikeout performance was highly encouraging for an A's club that saw him last just 2 2/3 innings in his Oakland debut on Monday following a disastrous Spring Training. The lefty navigated through trouble early and often, stranding five runners on base in all -- including two in his final inning by striking out the side. More >
"We got into a pretty good rhythm," Vogt said. "We talked before about being more aggressive with the fastball. He did such a great job throwing some heaters in the zone, getting some swings with some weak contact on his fastball, and that really helped him get his arm slot out in front with his release point for the breaking balls, because both were sharper tonight."
Seattle's Robinson Cano hit a ground-rule double in the third and has now hit safely in 21 straight games dating back to last season, the longest active streak in the Majors and the second-longest stretch in Cano's career. He hit in 23 consecutive games for the Yankees in 2012.
"It was the pitch I wanted, I just didn't do a great job executing. The changeup stayed up. I left it out over the plate to a good hitter and the rest is history." -- Karns on the home run by Reddick
Servais won his first challenge of the season as it took just 34 seconds for replay officials to overturn an out call on Norichika Aoki's leadoff grounder to short in the first inning. After being awarded the infield single, Aoki wound up getting caught stealing.
But A's skipper Bob Melvin got his turn two innings later when Aoki was initially ruled safe on a grounder to first baseman Yonder Alonso. First base umpire Gerry Davis ruled Aoki beat Alonso's dive to the bag, but that call also was overturned after a 57-second review.
A's: The A's will close out this three-game set with right-hander Chris Bassitt on the mound for Sunday's matinee finale. Bassitt was 0-2 with a 4.67 ERA in four appearances -- including three starts -- against Seattle last year, his first pitching in the American League West.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez makes his first King's Court start of the season at Safeco Field in the 1:10 p.m. PT series finale after dropping a 3-2 decision on Opening Day despite allowing just one hit (with five walks and two unearned runs) in six innings at Texas. Hernandez is 22-8 with a 2.64 ERA in 40 starts vs. Oakland.

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