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OAKLAND – As the A’s look to establish some offensive rhythm, right fielder Josh Reddick is getting some time as the No. 2 hitter against right-handed pitchers.
Reddick hit second on Monday, and his double contributed to a five-run first inning against Seattle. He’s back in the second spot Wednesday against Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, and though facing the Cy Young candidate is never a treat, Reddick likes the opportunity to hit higher in the batting order.
“I actually love it,” Reddick said Wednesday morning. “I grew up being a leadoff/2 hole hitter believe it or not until I got into pro ball. In high school and college I was 1 or 2. I like it. It doesn’t change anything. It just seems like I’m finally getting rewarded for having a pretty good second half.”
Reddick is hitting .285 with six homers, nine doubles an 24 runs in 37 games since the All-Star break. Not outlandish numbers, but he has been one of Oakland’s more dangerous hitters over the second half. A’s manager Bob Melvin was fond of keeping Reddick lower in the lineup to provide some pop in the bottom third of the order, but with the A’s needing a spark, Melvin is switching things up a bit.
He also likes the idea of switch hitter Jed Lowrie hitting lower to break up the glut of lefties in the order.
“I think right now he’s just swinging the bat well,” Melvin said of Reddick. “With our lineup, as many lefties as we have, you wanna break it up, whether it’s Lowrie in the middle there (or someone else).”
Melvin is holding out hope that center fielder Coco Crisp (strained neck) might be available for Fridays’ series opener against Houston.
Sean Doolittle (strained side muscle) threw for the second straight day and will be re-evaluated Friday.