ANAHEIM -- Cliff Pennington is very much aware of his reputation as a streaky hitter and acknowledges his offensive production this season has been defined by more downs than ups. But what better time to be enjoying the latter side?
"I don't like being streaky, but the fact is I've been so far," the A's infielder said. "This is when the games matter. We're in the playoff push, and if you're going to swing it good at one point all year, this is the time to do it."
Pennington has showcased quite the turnaround, having entered Wednesday's contest against the Angels 15-for-33 (.455) with four multihit games over his last 10. Overall, since being reinstated from the disabled list Aug. 7, he's batting .291, nearly 100 points higher than the .197 average he sported in 82 games before his elbow injury.
The transformation just happens to coincide with his move to second base, where much of his pregame focus now lies.
"I think it's just kind of a change of scenery for him," manager Bob Melvin said. "He's working so hard on his defense over at second base, that maybe he's forgotten about the offensive struggles to an extent and just letting his abilities take over."
Pennington insists it's "just a coincidence," though.
"I felt really good in spring early in the year, and then I just hit a rut and it was one of those things where it just snowballed and I couldn't get out of it," he said. "I think I was just trying too hard and finally I realized, 'Personally, this is not going to be a good year regardless of what happens,' and I backed off a little and things started to go better.
"Right now, I'm seeing the ball good, feeling confident, and it's working."
Melvin says Reddick plays right field like Gold
ANAHEIM -- Though the votes are already in for this year's Gold Glove accolades, A's manager Bob Melvin still enjoys talking up one of his own players he feels is deserving of one.
Managers are not allowed to vote for their own players, but Melvin says right fielder Josh Reddick is "very much" worthy of the award. Reddick has 14 assists on the season, which ranks second among Major League outfielders behind Kansas City's Jeff Francoeur (18), and has made several noteworthy plays throughout the season, while also handling the routine ones with ease.
"I think it's pretty well-documented around the league now that this is one of the better outfielders, not just right fielders, in the game," Melvin said. "I think it's very rare that we play a series and he doesn't do something impressive out there, whether it's a catch, whether it's a throw, whether it's an angle.
"A guy that plays deep means he comes in on the ball well. A guy that plays shallow means he goes back on the ball well. He does both and is very aware where the baserunners are, where he needs to cut off a run, and he's always throwing to the right base. It's been very impressive."
The A's haven't had a Gold Glove winner since 2006, when third baseman Eric Chavez took home his sixth in a row.
Melvin said votes for the award were cast last week, "but I've heard [Reddick] has gotten a little bit of support for that."
At the plate, Reddick has found himself in another slump, having collected just one hit in his last 28 at-bats, following a 14-for-28 stretch with three home runs and nine RBIs spanning six games that netted him American League Player of the Week honors. Overall, his average is down to .248 on the season. Less than two months ago, he was batting .274.
Reddick endured a similar funk in August, and Melvin responded by bumping him to the sixth spot. This time around, Melvin said he plans to stick with him in the No. 3 hole.
Tickets to potential playoff games on sale Monday
ANAHEIM -- For the first time in six years, the A's are in position to lock down a playoff spot. And, beginning Monday, the club is readying itself for such a possibility by putting tickets for potential playoff games on sale to the general public.
Individual-game tickets for the Wild Card game and American League Division Series games involving the A's at the Coliseum will go on sale online at www.oaklandathletics.com/tickets beginning at 10 a.m. PT, and also at the ballpark's box office or by calling 877-493-2255.
Fans are encouraged to purchase tickets early in order to ensure the best deal, as the A's will use dynamic pricing on all tickets in an effort to accurately set and adjust ticket prices in real time. Moreover, fans can also choose to lock in the lowest postseason ticket prices by placing a $150 deposit on 2013 season tickets.
All game dates and times are to be determined, and any tickets purchased for games that aren't played are refundable.