SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A's right fielder Josh Reddick called it "without a doubt the best play I've ever made."

His teammates seemed to think he might be underselling his on-the-run, glove-over-the-fence, second-inning theft of a potential Michael Morse homer.

"That is the best defensive play I've ever seen live," center fielder Sam Fuld said.

"Tomorrow I bet that's all we're talking about," catcher John Jaso said.

"On a scale of 1-10, that was a 12," pitcher Jesse Chavez said.

That catch, which can be viewed at www.insidebayarea.com/athletics, was just about all the A's -- or the Giants, for that matter -- were talking about after Oakland's 10-5 win in Wednesday's Cactus League opener for both teams.

Except there was that second catch. Again it was against Morse, this time in the fourth inning. Again the ball was over the wall, to almost the same spot. This time there were two men on base. The result was the same, Reddick soaring to get his glove over the 10-foot high chain link fence.

On any other day, that second play would be the talk of the game. On this day, it was the understudy.

"I have no idea how I did it," Reddick said of the second-inning play. "I hope they have video of it, because I'd like to see how I did it."

Video was actually a bit of a problem, because neither team was televising the game, but there were cameras that captured it for posterity.


Advertisement

"That was such an athletic play," A's shortstop Nick Punto said. "There were other great plays today, but none compares with that one."

Morse and Reddick are longtime buddies, and after the second catch, Morse let fly with a humorously wistful, "I was like, 'I thought we were friends.' "

"He's known for doing that, man," Morse added. "I'm happy to help him work on it in spring training, I guess. I've known Reddick for a long time, and he takes his defense seriously. It's one of the best catches I've ever seen."

Reddick, who also had a single and drove in the first A's run, is looking for a turnaround after an injury-riddled 2013. What he got was an adrenaline rush in the first game of the spring, a rush that was contagious. He got a nice hand from the heavily Giants-leaning crowd at Scottsdale Stadium, and the reception he got in the dugout from his teammates was pennant-race worthy.

"They had my heart pumping," Reddick said.

  • Speaking of defense, second baseman Eric Sogard started the wizardry off with a glove stop of a grounder behind second base in the bottom of the first, then flipped it to Punto to start an inning-ending double play.

    "It was great for the Face," Chavez said. That's Sogard's new nickname thanks to his three wins in MLB Network's "#FaceofMLB" competition on Twitter. (He was in the semifinals against Toronto's Jose Bautista on Wednesday).

    Punto said Sogard's play "was great and would have been the play of the day if it wasn't for Reddick."

  • Jaso was supposed to catch about half the game, but he came out after two innings. He was hit by a pitch just above the right elbow and said it might be a challenge to throw for a few days. It was his first start behind the plate since concussions sidelined him last July 24. Manager Bob Melvin said he didn't think it would be a big issue. He also said baseballs have a way of finding Jaso.

  • Craig Gentry is being held out of on-field workouts for 10 days as the A's are monitoring the outfielder's back pain. He's eager to get going with his new team, but the ex-Ranger is being held back until the A's are sure he's entirely healthy. He's still expected to be ready for opening day.

  • Ryan Cook (right shoulder) will throw on flat ground Thursday and Saturday, then should be ready to throw off a mound early next week.

  • Fernando Rodriguez has made excellent progress from Tommy John surgery of 11 months ago but by the time he's ready to appear in a game, the A's will be honing the pitchers who will break with the club in late March. That means it's unlikely he'll pitch in a Cactus League game.

  • Eric O'Flaherty (Tommy John surgery) will throw on flat ground Friday. He's still shooting for a midseason return.

  • Melvin said by his count there were at least six "plus defensive plays today." He went on to say it "was good to see a lot of intensity" in the opener.