Reddick's 13th homer not enough in A's loss

Reddick's 13th homer not enough in A's loss

Reddick's 13th homer not enough in A's loss
OAKLAND -- Josh Reddick's home run-hitting ways are becoming the norm in Oakland these days.

So, too, unfortunately, is the lack of help around him.

Reddick collected his team-leading 13th long ball of the season on Saturday afternoon, a shot to dead center to lead off the third against Yankees lefty CC Sabathia that ultimately represented just half of his club's run total in a 9-2 defeat to the Yankees, marking a season-high four straight losses for the A's.

Reddick has homered in back-to-back games, and his May home run total has reached nine, with four games still left to play in the month. As of now, that number represents the best single-month total by an A's player since Frank Thomas tallied 10 in September 2006.

But just four of the outfielder's home runs on the year have come with runners on base.

"Everyone would like to have guys on base, but I wouldn't say frustrating is the word for it," Reddick said. "Hopefully I can stay consistent like this until these guys get fired up and we can really do some damage. We've got a group full of talent. These guys are going to turn it around. I know they're going to turn it around. We'll get on the same page here soon."

That task doubles in difficulty when a team of the Yankees' caliber is in town. Oakland has dropped 19 of its last 23 games to New York, including eight straight and 12 of the last 13 at the Coliseum, where the Bronx Bombers utilized a pair of homers from Mark Teixeira and one from Robinson Cano to lift them to their latest victory.

Teixeira also notched a two-run single in the fifth against Oakland starter Bartolo Colon, whose regression from a strong April continued. The veteran righty, who became just the fifth pitcher in Oakland history to start a game at age 39 or older, allowed six runs on nine hits in six innings against his former team, upping his May ERA to 7.92.

In his five starts in the month, Colon has allowed seven homers, five more than he surrendered in April. He has also pitched through at least six innings just twice, after completing seven frames in four of his five April starts, including eight innings two times.

Pressed about the drastic change in numbers after Saturday's outing, Colon merely shook it off and replied, "I'm just pitching the same way I did at the beginning of the season. The difference is I throw a lot of strikes and sometimes they take advantage of that."

Manager Bob Melvin more or less said the same, noting the fuss is just about "a few more balls in the middle of the plate."

"With a team like this, you throw the ball in the middle of the plate, they make you pay," he said. "With the depth in their lineup power-wise, it's going to go out of the park."

"I'm throwing strikes," Colon later added. "I try to locate the balls in the corners, but I'm not getting it where I want to, and then they hit it very hard."

Said the Yankees' Robinson Cano: "We all know he throws a lot of fastballs, so you want to be able to not miss a pitch when he throws it over the plate."

Colon's struggles further magnified the ongoing ones had by the A's offense, which entered the day carrying a Major League-worst .210 batting average. Jonny Gomes' RBI single in the first off Sabathia handed the A's an early one-run advantage, but after Reddick's blast two innings later, they couldn't get in another run.

New York, meanwhile, kept adding on, tagging righty Graham Godfrey -- entering from the bullpen after being scratched from his scheduled Monday start in favor of Travis Blackley -- for three runs, two coming courtesy of Teixeira's second homer of the day, which gave him five RBIs.

"These guys are paid the money they are for a reason," Reddick said. "It's a lineup you don't get any rest with. Some lineups, you go one through five, and that's the hard part, but when you've got guys like [Nick] Swisher and [Eric] Chavez batting [seventh and eighth], you know it's going to be a tough day for you on the mound, as well as at the plate, with CC Sabathia out there with the stuff he's done his whole career. You gotta grind a little more."

The grinding has proved tiresome for the A's, who have collected a combined six runs during their four-game losing streak, all with a lineup missing the likes of Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Inge. Both are expected to return within the next week, and another big name -- Manny Ramirez -- could be joining the club soon, too.

"We have some guys out of the lineup we count on to knock in some runs," Melvin said. "We haven't been as good offensively at this point in the season as we expected to be. We'll continue to work on it. Our expectation level doesn't change. We expect to be better offensively as a team. We need to pick it up. We think we will."

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.