SEATTLE -– Chris Coghlan had seen Steve Cishek make opposing hitters uncomfortable before.
Never had he stepped in against the sidearmer.
Coghlan got the best of his former teammate Friday night, launching a game-winning homer in the top of the ninth that sent the A’s to a 3-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Coghlan is in his first season with Oakland after coming over in a spring training trade from the Cubs. Cishek signed as a free agent with the Mariners this past winter and became their closer. They were teammates with the Miami Marlins from 2010-13.
“I’ve seen him throw. I’d never faced him,” Coghlan said. “He’s a great closer. It’s not a comfortable at-bat. I don’t know if he pulled it or tried to get me frozen on a ball in. But I was grateful I was able to (drive it).”
When asked about his homer, Coghlan first pointed out the RBI single he delivered in the fourth. That broke a scoreless tie, and for an A’s team that’s struggled early on to cash in with runners in scoring position, that first run-scoring hit was big. Coghlan was one of the hitters who failed to come through with a man in scoring position in one potential rally during Thursday’s loss to the White Sox.
But even Coghlan couldn’t downplay the thrill of going deep in the late innings of a tie game.
“As a kid that’s what you dream of,” Coghlan said. “ As a competitor, you know how big the situation is, and you want to come through for your teammates. When you do, it’s just a feeling you can’t describe. There’s nothing in the world that beats it.”
Josh Reddick was the first Athletic to go deep Friday, hitting a hanging curve from Taijuan Walker into the right field seats in the fifth. Reddick showed no ill effects from back soreness, which is the reason A’s manager Bob Melvin started him at DH rather than right field. He wanted Reddick to get a bit of a rest.
“It feels great,” Reddick said. “Baseball activity wasn’t the problem. Being stationary and sitting still is when it happens.”
Reddick also said he benefited from some work he did with hitting coach Darren Bush earlier in the week.
“At home, me and Bushie talked about staying back, because I was jumping a lot,” Reddick said. “Today was a lot of focus of staying back and keeping my hands back.”