A's beat Reds 5-0: Reds sluggers struggle against A.J. Griffin
7:25 PM, Jun 26, 2013
7:30 PM, Jun 26, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- A.J. Griffin pitched a two-hitter for his first win in more than a month, Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer and the Oakland Athletics beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-0 on Wednesday for a sweep of their two-game series.
Griffin (6-6) struck out seven and walked two in a 108-pitch gem for his first career complete game.
The shaggy-haired right-hander had been 0-3 in five starts since winning at Houston on May 25. He didn't allow a hit until Devin Mesoraco's one-out single in the fifth and then allowed only Xavier Paul's two-out double in the seventh.
Pinch-hitter Nate Freiman and Brandon Moss each hit RBI doubles for the A's.
Griffin gave the A's starters their first decision in four games after Oakland went three in a row without one for the first time this year. He struck out Jay Bruce swinging for a 1-2-3 ninth to end the 2-hour, 20-minute game - looking as strong late as he did early.
Oakland's fourth inning provided all the run support Griffin needed.
Donaldson connected to highlight a four-run fourth after hitting a two-run homer in Tuesday night's 7-3 victory.
Homer Bailey (4-6) faced just two over the minimum through three innings, then ran into trouble in the fourth. He struck out seven and walked two in six innings in losing his second straight decision.
Oakland got four straight hits to start the fourth, taking a 1-0 lead on Moss' double. Jed Lowrie was nearly caught at third by a sprinting Yoenis Cespedes, who held up as Lowrie ran home but missed the bag before reaching back to touch the plate as catcher Mesoraco lost the ball.
Derrick Robinson and Joey Votto pulled off a double steal in the first to put runners on second and third, but Cincinnati missed more chances a day after stranding 11 baserunners.
Reds manager Dusty Baker had his team hit an abbreviated batting practice after the night game because, "This park plays as different day and night as anywhere in the big leagues."
The tricky sun early and shadows late can be problematic. Donaldson experienced the glaring sun when the third baseman lost the ball on Paul's foul popup in the fourth.
Stephen Vogt earned another start at catcher in place of injured starter John Jaso, a day after Vogt was promoted from Triple-A Sacramento.
He is still searching for his first major league hit, going 0 for 3 to drop to 0 for 31 overall. Vogt was 0 for 25 with two walks in 18 games last season. Since 1990, the only longer hitless streak to open a career was 33 at-bats by Chris Carter with the A's in 2010.
Oakland improved to just 14-17 in day games, to 32-17 at night.
NOTES: Griffin threw 73 of his pitches for strikes. ... A's CF Coco Crisp had what manager Bob Melvin called a non-emergency "family issue" that the team knew about Tuesday night. He arrived during the game. "This was a planned thing," Melvin said. Crisp's replacement, Chris Young, struck out four times in the leadoff spot. ... Jaso missed his fifth straight start as he rested his injured left hand. Melvin expects him back Friday at home against St. Louis following an off day Thursday. Aside from a pinch-hit appearance Sunday at Seattle, Jaso hasn't played since last Thursday at Texas. ... The A's raised $32,000 during the A's annual rootbeer float day for the Juvenile Research Diabetes Foundation. Melvin's grown daughter has juvenile diabetes. The game drew 25,658. ... The Reds make just their second trip to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and first since 2002.