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Reddick gaining confidence as bat heats up

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OAKLAND -- A self-assured Josh Reddick is bringing a consistent swing to the plate these days.

An emotional player, Reddick too often gets in his own way at the plate. The A's outfielder had just four hits in his first 41 at-bats, but he has upped his batting average 102 points after going 6-for-9 with four RBIs in the first two games of the series against the Astros.

With success comes confidence, and Reddick is using it to hit the ball all over the field.

Saturday's game-winning hit was a liner to right-center, the same direction he hit his first homer on Friday. He's also pulled a pair of balls to right field, lining another to left this weekend.

"It's showing me it's where I want to be in the box with every pitch, inside, the outside and down the middle," Reddick said before Sunday's finale. "Being able to not be so pull-happy or go-the-other-way-happy, it shows I'm where I need to be and having the confidence in myself to do everything."

"I think any time guys struggle some, they tend to pull off the ball," said manager Bob Melvin. "It's easier said than done to say, 'I'm just going to stay on the ball and try to hit the ball the other way.' But when you get a little antsy, you're trying to hit that ball before it gets to you, so the trick is to let it travel some.

"I think it was key to get a hit to left field the other night, and now you're seeing him pull some balls. Even his homer was a little bit more right-center than you usually see him, and that's something he's really trying to do, is get a longer look at the ball."

Reddick entered Sunday on the heels of back-to-back three-hit games. He hadn't done that since August 2012.

"His swings have been really good, against righties and lefties, it doesn't really matter for him right now," said Melvin. "Hopefully that continues and he rides that wave some. We all know he has the ability to do it. Consistency will be the key for him at this point, and we feel like he's on his way."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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