SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Josh Reddick made two highlight-reel catches to take away homers from Michael Morse, Brandon Moss and Stephen Vogt each drove in two runs during a six-run fourth inning against San Francisco closer Sergio Romo, and the Oakland Athletics opened Cactus League play with a 10-5 victory over the Giants on Wednesday.
“We were getting challenged right away,” said Reddick, who also drove in a run. “That first one got my heart pumping a little bit.”
Morse hit the ball hardest of any Giant starter without anything to show for it. In his first two at-bats, in the second and the fourth, he hit drives that were headed over the fence in right field but Reddick reached over the wall to catch both.
Yoenis Cespedes also drove in two runs as the A’s won their first spring opener in three years and their second in 10 years. Alberto Callapso, John Jaso and Michael Taylor also drove in runs. Sam Fuld and Nick Punto each added two hits.
Pablo Sandoval drove in a run for the Giants. Yusmeiro Petit took the loss, allowing four runs — three earned — on five hits in one inning.
Athletics: Jesse Chavez allowed a hit and struck out a batter in two innings. Chavez was 2-4 with 3.92 ERA in 35 games, all in relief, for the A’s last year. A’s manager Bob Melvin loves his versatility out of the bullpen and thinks he could start a game or two.
Giants: Petit, 4-1 with a 3.56 ERA in eight games — seven starts — last year, threw strikes but just got too much of the plate.
A’s OF Craig Gentry will miss at least 10 more days to help him recover from a lower back strain. Jaso caught in a game for the first time since sustaining a concussion last July. He singled and was hit by a pitch and left after the top of the third.
“It hit just above the right elbow,” Jaso said. “I thought I would get four or five innings bit after that happened, Melvin made the call.”
Reddick made two sensational catches, each time robbing Morse of home runs. Reddick said the first one, in which he climbed the 10-foot fence in right field to snag a ball that was clearly over the fence, was the best he’s ever made.
“I don’t know how I did it,” Reddick said. “When I got to the fence and climbed it, I looked back and the ball was already two feet over my head. I was lucky enough to get my glove on it.”
After the second one, which was similar, Morse raised his arms in disbelief: “I was like, ‘I thought we were friends.’ I know Reddick and he takes his defense so seriously,” Morse said.
Fuld, who made his own running, over-the-shoulder catch in center field, was also impressed.
“I’m pretty sure that’s the best play I’ve ever seen live and then it just got wacky with the second one. You’ll never see that again.”
Giants president and CEO Larry Baer said the team is open-minded to talking long-term contract with infielder Pablo Sandoval.
“On opening day, if Pablo doesn’t have a long-term deal it doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a Giant. There have been no discussions yet. We want to let Pablo get acclimated and then the evaluation starts. We’ve got the month of March. We’ll see.”