Athletics 17, Reds 8
OAKLAND, Calif.(AP)—Offensively, the Athletics never had a three-game series like this since moving to Oakland.
Damian Miller hit a grand slam and the Athletics won their fifth straight, setting season highs for hits and runs in a 17-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday night and moving into first place in the AL West.
Ken Griffey Jr. remained stalled at 498 homers after not connecting in a series in which Oakland scored 40 runs and had 51 hits—22 Wednesday. The 40 runs were the most the A’s have scored in a three-game set since moving to Oakland in 1968.
“They had great discipline from their hitters,” Reds catcher Jason LaRue said. “They never swung at anything bad.”
The A’s improved to 15-0 against the NL Central—6-0 against the Reds.
Griffey, who is two homers away from becoming the 20th player to hit 500, was supposed to lead off the top of the ninth, but Wily Mo Pena pinch-hit for him and struck out.
Griffey was not available after the game.
“I just wanted to give a couple of guys an AB,” Reds manager Dave Miley said. “And it’s a day off Thursday.”
The closest Griffey, who went 2-for-4, came to a homer was a line drive single off the right-field fence in the fourth inning.
“I hung one to him there,” A’s starter Rich Harden said. “He could have hit that 500 feet.”
With the loss, the Reds dropped into a first-place tie with St. Louis, which beat the Chicago Cubs.
Jose Acevedo (3-5) gave up 10 hits and eight runs in the first three innings, highlighted by Miller’s fifth career grand slam in the third.
Jermaine Dye opened the A’s third with a bloop single that fell between three Reds in shallow center field. Scott Hatteberg singled and one out later Bobby Crosby walked on five pitches. Miller then hit a full-count pitch for his first slam since June 2, 2002, against San Diego when he played for Arizona.
Miller also drove in five runs Tuesday with a pair of doubles and now has 14 RBIs in the last four games. Seven of his last eight hits have gone for extra bases.
Harden (3-3) was staked to an 11-0 lead in his first victory since May 12— five starts. Harden gave up only three hits until the sixth when the Reds chased him by scoring five runs, four unearned, after his error on a play at first base.
Adam Dunn hit his major league-leading 18th homer, a two-run shot in the seventh inning off reliever Justin Duchscherer. One out later, Jacob Cruz cut the lead to 11-8 with a solo homer, his second of the year.
But the A’s scored six runs off John Riedling in their half of the seventh, capped by Eurbiel Durazo’s two-run homer, his 10th.
Reds catcher LaRue was taken out of the game with what was described as a bruised left hand after being hit by a pitch from Harden in the sixth inning. … Hatteberg’s single in the third inning extended his hitting streak to acareer-high 11 games.