The Oakland Athletics took on a Cleveland Indians squad that’s undefeated so far in spring training on Monday, and gave up 14 runs — including six in a sloppy eighth inning — and fell to 1-2 in the Cactus League.
Oakland did not score a run until the bottom of the sixth inning, when all of the starting lineup had come out of the game. They didn’t land a man on base until the fourth, when Josh Reddick singled to right field off of Cleveland pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez. Reddick showed flashes of his Gold Glove caliber talent in right field, making a sliding catch in the second inning. He went 1-for-2 at the plate. Hiroyuki Nakajima started at shortstop and struck out in both of his plate appearances.
Hideki Okajima took the mound for the A’s in the fourth inning, facing former Oakland MVP Jason Giambi as his first batter in his spring training debut. It’s been a long road back to a major league roster for Okajima, who last appeared with the New York Yankees in spring training in 2011, and he appreciated every minute of it. He got some help on defense from Josh Donaldson, who showed why he’s a strong candidate to start the season at third base with a quality play to field a grounder from Cleveland’s Juan Diaz and throw him out at first.
Shane Peterson got the A’s on the board in the sixth when he hit a two-run home run off of Matt Capps, driving in Michael Choice. Choice had a nice game overall, hitting a homer of his own in the seventh, going 2-for-3 on the day with 2 RBI and 2 runs.
Some other notable occurrences:
Jed Lowrie started at second, and Melvin will likely continue to move him around the infield throughout spring training. He turned a double play with the assist from Nakajima in the top of the first. Jemile Weeks replaced Lowrie in the fifth; he went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, but also recorded an error in the top of the eighth and was caught trying to steal third base in the bottom half of the inning. Andy Parrino saw some time in left field and went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, and utility man Eric Sogard came in at shortstop and contributed an RBI to the comeback effort that fell short.
Overall, another “throw it against the wall and see what sticks” game. Stay tuned as we cover the rest of this week’s Cactus League action and quench that big league thirst of yours with spring training coverage here at Golden Gate Sports.