With Josh Reddick back and hitting home runs, the Oakland Athletics are bringing some more muscle and a bigger lead into a crucial weekend series.
Reddick homered and had three RBIs, A.J. Griffin allowed just two hits in seven innings, and the A’s beat the Minnesota Twins, 8-2, Thursday afternoon in Minneapolis to increase their division lead to 3½ games over idle Texas in the American League West. The teams are scheduled to play a three-game series this weekend.
‘‘We know it’s an important series, but we’re not going to sweat about it,’’ Reddick said. ‘‘We know we can beat those guys.’’
Reinstated from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday after missing time with a sprained right wrist, Reddick hit an eighth-inning pitch from Brian Duensing into the right field seats for an 8-1 Oakland lead.
‘‘Being able to hit it hard . . . without my wrist hurting really felt good,’’ said Reddick, who was also on the disabled list May 7-30 with the same injury. ‘‘Watching these guys the last two weeks it kind of stung not being able to be a part of it, but I was just hoping to come back and just jump on board and not screw up the rhythm. Hopefully, more days like this are coming.’’
Adding Reddick to a lineup that already has 26 home runs from Brandon Moss, 22 from Yoenis Cespedes, 21 from Josh Donaldson and 19 from Coco Crisp makes things much easier for manager Bob Melvin.
Indians 14, White Sox 3 — Ryan Raburn went 3 for 3 with a homer and five RBIs, and Cleveland routed host Chicago to remain to 1½ games out of the second AL wild-card spot.
The Indians blew the game open with a seven-run, rain-delayed fifth inning, when their first nine batters reached base.
Angels 4, Blue Jays 3 — Garrett Richards pitched 6⅔ innings for his third straight win and Kole Calhoun hit a solo home run as Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep in Toronto.
Phillies 10, Padres 5 — Carlos Ruiz had three hits and three RBIs and rookie Cesar Hernandez reached base four times, scored twice and drove in two runs as host Philadelphia rode a six-run first inning to beat San Diego.
Pirates 3, Cubs 1 — Jeff Locke allowed three hits over seven innings to earn his first victory in nearly two months and host Pittsburgh won its fourth straight in beating Chicago.
Nationals 7, Mets 2 — Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, and Wilson Ramos homered off Aaron Harang in his New York debut, and visiting Washington completed a four-game sweep.
Braves 6, Marlins 1 — Freddy Garcia earned his second NL victory since 2007, and his first since he joined visiting Atlanta last month, pitching six innings to help beat Miami.
Brewers 5, Cardinals 3 — Tyler Thornburg threw six solid innings, Sean Halton homered and visiting Milwaukee snapped St. Louis’s five-game winning streak.