HOUSTON — On a night that the A’s as a group weren’t seeing eye to eye with home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, center fielder Coco Crisp was regretting a moment that earned him an ejection in the fifth inning.
Crisp disagreed with a called strike in the middle of an at-bat that inning against Astros starter Doug Fister. After striking out swinging to end the inning, Crisp tossed his bat in Reyburn’s direction on his way back to the dugout. Reyburn immediately gave him the thumb. A’s manager Bob Melvin went out to protest, saying that Crisp didn’t intend to throw the bat at Reyburn. After the A’s 3-1 victory, Crisp said he still didn’t know if his bat made contact with the umpire, and he added that Reyburn didn’t say that that was the reason for the ejection.
But he was apologetic, and he said he might apologize personally to Reyburn on Friday.
“My intentions definitely were not to hit him,” Crisp said. “Just me going back and looking at it, I was like … ‘That was way too close.’ That was pretty bad. … I didn’t mean for it to come out where it was gonna hit him. I was mad, so I was trying to say, ‘Well, you hit it’ type of thing, and it just went way too close.”
Earlier that inning, Yonder Alonso protested a called third strike. And later, Melvin went out for another discussion with Reyburn after an at-bat that appeared to leave Danny Valencia peeved.
The A’s didn’t generate much offense Thursday, squeezing out three runs despite getting just four hits. But they added an important insurance run in the ninth, and it began with a subtle hustle play from Josh Reddick.
He hit a scorcher that was picked by Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who was playing Reddick up the middle. Correa was too nonchalant in unloading the ball to first, and seemingly rushed a throw that went for an E-6. Reddick eventually scored on Alonso’s blooper that went for an infield single.
“It started with Reddick,” Melvin said. “Reddick busts it down the line on a ball like that. Correa hasn’t made too many errors, but I think the fact he was running hard down the line had an effect.”
Melvin disclosed before Thursday’s game that shortstop Marcus Semien has been playing with a sore right shoulder lately. That isn’t likely to keep Semien out of the lineup through the rest of this series and into the All-Star break. The shortstop, who’s already hit a career-high 18 home runs, is the only Athletic to start in all 86 games so far.
“I knew I could rely on him before, but now I know he can play through injuries,” Melvin said. “… It’d be easy to give him a day off, but he won’t have anything to do with that. He continues to perform at a high level. He doesn’t look like he’s run down.”