A's scoring chances scarce vs. lefty Wilson
ANAHEIM -- The A's had to wait 8 2/3 innings to get the matchup they wanted Saturday night at Angel Stadium -- Josh Reddick at the plate against a right-handed pitcher with the game on the line -- and in the end, they couldn't convert on it.
For a second straight night, Reddick skied out to short center field against Angels closer Huston Street to end the game, this one a 1-0 loss that put them at risk of being swept out of Anaheim on Sunday.
"How do I feel about the matchup?" manager Bob Melvin said with a laugh. "I feel good. If you look at Reddick's numbers off right-handed pitching, I feel good every time he's up there. His on-base, .430, he slugs, he does everything."
Before he pinch-hit Saturday, Reddick had posted a .368/.439/.638 slash line against righties in 2015 to go along with nine home runs and 31 RBIs. Melvin had hinted before the game that Reddick would likely pinch-hit at some point, and it came when Street walked Billy Butler with two outs in the ninth. Melvin had just been waiting for the A's to get a runner on to pull the trigger.
Before that, Oakland only had two other real scoring chances against Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, who went seven scoreless innings -- and it just so happened that the only two lefty bats in the lineup against him were the ones at the plate in those spots.
"We feel good about the construction of the lineup against left-handed pitching," Melvin said. "We just haven't done well to this point."
First, it was Sam Fuld, coming up against Wilson with two outs and runners on second and third in the top of the fifth inning. Wilson got him chasing badly on a 2-2 slider in the dirt, which Fuld could only wave at, to end the inning.
Then, in the seventh, it was Stephen Vogt's turn to face Wilson with two on, and only one out. Vogt put a much better swing on the ball than Fuld, cracking a line drive down the first-base line, but first baseman Efren Navarro made a nice play moving toward the line to pick it out of the air, then fired to second base before Josh Phegley could get back to the bag.
"I had two atrocious at-bats my first two at-bats," Vogt said. "To hit a ball hard always feels good, but I want that to get down, take the 2-1 lead. That's really what I wanted. I didn't care about -- yeah, it gives me confidence, sure, it helps me feel better -- but I'd rather have rolled over an 18-hopper off first base and it kicks into our dugout and it scores two runs."