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Reddick trying to relax amidst early slump

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Josh Reddick, 2-for-25 with 10 strikeouts in his last seven games, remained in the lineup, batting sixth on Sunday. In addition to cutting his long hair and trimming his shaggy beard, the A 's right fielder has taken his drop in the batting order in stride.

"There's no need for me to be a momentum killer," he said.

However, it would be understandable if Reddick, who dropped a first-inning fly ball by the Rays' Evan Longoria Sunday for a run-producing error, is pressing a bit.

"It's human nature, when you haven't done too well to start, that you try to do to much," manager Bob Melvin said. "He gets a little frustrated at times. There's a frustration factor that kicks in when you hit the ball hard and have nothing to show for it. He'll keep after it. It all comes back to getting some hits and getting on your way."

Meanwhile, the A's keep looking for positive signs as they wait for Reddick to snap out of his funk. For example, Melvin felt compelled to note that Reddick's "BP (batting practice) was much better" on Saturday.

Reddick's .102 average going into Sunday's game was the third lowest in the American League. In his first two at-bats against the Rays, he was 1-2 with an RBI single.

Jim Hawkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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