Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick hitless in 22 plate appearances dating back to July 29. Blue Jays pitching must have been just what the doctor ordered because Reddick has exploded in a big way tonight.
In the top of the third, Reddick smoked a solo home run to left off of Jays starter Esmil Rogers. He hit another solo shot in the top of the fifth against reliever Neil Wagner. The third came in the top of the sixth, a three-run shot off of reliever Juan Perez. As of this writing, the A’s lead the Jays 12-3 entering the seventh.
After hitting 32 long balls last year, Reddick entered tonight with just five in 315 trips to the plate. He will have at least one more opportunity to go for his fourth homer of the night, a feat accomplished by just 16 players in baseball history. Josh Hamilton, now with the Angels, did it last year as a member of the Rangers on May 8 against the Orioles at Camden Yards.
Update: Reddick grounded out to second in the eighth. Unless the Athletics put together a heck of an offensive rally in the ninth, he won’t get another shot to go for #4. Nevertheless, Reddick has had a great night.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.