April 28, 2013

AP photo

FAMILIAR FACE: Jed Lowrie was one of three former Portland Sea Dogs to face the Boston Red Sox as members of the Oakland A’s this week. Brandon Moss and Josh Reddick were the others.

ON BASEBALL: A's bring Hadlock feel to Fenway

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

BOSTON -- When the Oakland A's were in town early last week, the visiting clubhouse at Fenway had a Hadlock feel to it.

The names above the lockers:

Jed Lowrie.

Brandon Moss.

Josh Reddick.

None of the three were teammates in Portland. It took a series of trades and transactions.

Lowrie, 29, was probably the closest to becoming a regular Red Sox player. Lowrie played in the 2007 postseason for Boston and was the opening-day shortstop in 2008.

But Lowrie has never been able to stay healthy all year, and the Red Sox finally traded him to Houston before the 2012 season. Boston received reliever Mark Melancon (who was traded to Pittsburgh in the Joel Hanrahan deal).

Lowrie has not spent much time thinking "what if?" in terms of his time with Boston. He's too busy trying to establish himself with his new team. Houston traded Lowrie to Oakland on Feb. 4.

"With the Astros I felt, with where they're at as an organization, they probably see more value in young prospects and rebuilding," Lowrie said. "I figured (a trade) would happen at some point.

"I really enjoy it here. I'm off to a good start. The team's playing well. Everything is good right now."

Lowrie is batting .365 (1.020 OPS) through Thursday.

And so far he's healthy. Lowrie has yet to play a injury-free season. He played a career-high 97 games with Houston last year.

Moss, 29, is batting .286 (.789 OPS). Reddick, 26, who was being considered for the All-Star Game last year, is off to a slow start, batting .169 (.559). Reddick did go 4-for-9 in Boston.

* * *

Moss and Reddick spent time Tuesday at Children's Hospital in Boston last Monday, along with first base coach Tye Waller, visiting 11-year-old Aaron Hern of Martinez, California (about 25 miles from Oakland). Hern had already undergone two surgeries on his left leg, after it was hit by shrapnel in the Boston Marathon bombings. Hern's mother ran in the marathon.

"Absolutely unbelievable kid with a great family," Moss said. "It was an amazing experience."

* * *

The A's team bus drove near the area of the bombings, on their way into Boston on Sunday night.

"All the TV trucks and satellite trucks in the area, you can only imagine what it was like during that time," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "Just an eerie feeling. Our hearts go out to everybody with what went on here."

* * *

Another former Sea Dogs player, pitcher Josh Fields, may have been pitching at Fenway this weekend, with Houston in town, but he is on the disabled list.

In the offseason, Fields, 27, was not put on the Red Sox 40-man roster. He was eligible for the Rule V draft and Houston grabbed.

Fields must stay on the Astros major league roster all year. He appeared briefly in two games (retiring the one batter he faced in each, one by strikeout) before doing on the DL with a forearm strain.

* * *

Michael Olmsted is another Sea Dogs pitcher who was not put on Boston's 40-man roster despite coming to the end of his contract. Milwaukee signed Olmsted to a major league contract and sent him to Triple-A Nashville at the end of the spring training. Olmsted has made six appearances, allowing six runs in his first game, none in the next four, and four in his last appearance April 22.

* * *

The Sea Dogs return to Hadlock Field on Friday for a six-game home stand. Among the promotions are the bring your dog to the ballpark (Bark in the Park) Friday; the Brandon Heath concert Saturday at 11:45 a.m. before the 1 p.m. game; Kevin Millar bobblehead dolls on May 6; American Idol finalist Skylar Laine singing the National Anthem May 7; and an appearance by Rob Ninkovich of the New England Patriots on May 8.

Also on May 8 is the annual "All the Hair Your Can Spare event from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., for those able to donate their hair, which will be made into wigs for cancer patients. Stylists from the Akari salon of Portland will be on hand at Hadlock. Donors must have at least 10 inches of non-chemically treated hair. Call the Sea Dogs (874-9300) to make a reservation, or for more information

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