OAKLAND -- First purchased in Baltimore last weekend, Josh Reddick's Spiderman getup never made an appearance on the East Coast, after teammates refused to walk around town next to a grown man dressed as a comic book hero.
Reddick wasn't about to return his coveted purchase, though, so he decided the costume would make its public debut the next time the A's collected another walk-off win. Less than a week later, the outfielder's plan was executed, with teammate Jonny Gomes' blessing.
Following Coco Crisp's game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 15th inning against the Blue Jays on Friday, Reddick raced to the clubhouse and quickly made the outfit change in a matter of two minutes. He returned to the field with two pies in hand for Crisp.
"I saw it in his eyes. He really wanted to do it," Gomes said. "I want to be a veteran and lead you in the right direction. But at the same time, I don't want to be a dream crusher. If he wants it that bad, put that thing on.
"He asked me if I thought it would be a good idea, and I thought about it for a minute. You see guys play well in free-agency years, guys who play well in arbitration years, but none of these guys are going through that. They're literally playing to have fun, because winning is fun. I'm a huge fan of the alumni of the game, I'm a huge fan of the game, and probably the No. 1 endorser of respecting the game, of playing the game right. With that being said, I don't think we crossed any of those lines. We gotta keep that mojo going somehow."
Reddick insisted on Saturday morning that it was all "a one-time deal." But there's no telling what else is hiding in his closet.
"He's the first one off the field, so when he comes off in that fashion, I know he's going to do something," manager Bob Melvin said. "He definitely added to the dynamic [on Friday]."
Wrist keeps Cespedes from starting Saturday
OAKLAND -- As anticipated, A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was held out of Saturday's starting lineup against the Blue Jays after spraining his right wrist the previous night.
No need to fret, though, as manager Bob Melvin said he would "hold out hope he'll potentially be able to pinch-hit today." There was no pinch-hitting, but Cespedes did enter the game in the bottom of the ninth as a pinch-runner for Chris Carter, before being replaced in the lineup by Brandon Moss during the next frame.
Cespedes, who hit in the cages on Saturday morning, did not receive an X-ray on his wrist, which he injured when sliding into third base in the sixth inning of Friday's 15-inning affair.
The rookie slugger has struggled to stay on the field in his first big league season, having endured assorted injuries in previous months. But there's no denying his presence when he's healthy, given his team-leading .310 average -- boosted by an American League-leading .430 mark since the All-Star break.
In his stead, Jonny Gomes started in left field on Saturday, while Josh Reddick manned center, with Coco Crisp getting a scheduled day off. Michael Taylor, who was called up on Friday, played in right.
Melvin will pitch Cook on consecutive days
OAKLAND -- A's closer Ryan Cook entered Saturday having allowed 11 runs in 8 1/3 innings in 10 appearances with no rest, including three in a blown save on Friday, compared to just one run spanning 38 innings in 36 outings with at least one day of rest.
"There's nothing you can do about that," manager Bob Melvin said.
So Cook will continue to see work in the ninth, no matter if he did so the prior day.
"If you're a closer, you're going to come in [during] games that you're ahead -- and if I have to use him again today, I'm gonna use him again today," Melvin said on Saturday morning. "You can't just pick your spots and say, as a closer, you're going to pitch every other day. You just can't do that."
Melvin did use Cook on Saturday, marking just the second time he has pitched three consecutive days this season. The results were familiar, with the righty surrendering a game-tying home run to David Cooper in the top of the ninth inning in an eventual 3-1 A's loss in 11 innings. It marked his fourth blown save in his last six outings.
On Friday, Cook recorded two quick outs in the ninth, with Oakland leading, 4-1, before surrendering back-to-back base hits to Cooper and Rajai Davis -- on 0-1 and 0-2 counts, respectively. That brought up Jeff Mathis, who, like his teammates, fought off a pitchers' count at 0-2 to line a 3-2 fastball over the center-field wall to tie the game.
"He pitched really well the last time and then he comes and gets two outs last night and has got some 0-2 counts," Melvin said. "It's a matter of putting them away. He's one pitch away on every single one of those batters. I thought the stuff was good. He just has to continue to trust in his stuff late in the count."
Shortstop Cliff Pennington went 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base in nine innings in his first rehab appearance with Triple-A Sacramento on Friday. Pennington is eligible to be reinstated at any time, after being placed on the disabled list July 20 with left elbow tendinitis. But Melvin said the club will not rush him back.
"We want to make sure he's comfortable and plays multiple games," Melvin said. "I think, with some of the struggles he's had at the plate, it'd be nice to get him back when he's swinging well. Confidence-wise, for him, that would be a prudent thing to do."
At the time of his injury, the struggling Pennington was batting just .197 with a .259 on-base percentage.