Semien, Smolinski lead A's past Reds 6-1 to snap 7-game skid
CINCINNATI (AP) Somebody commented to Oakland manager Bob Melvin about the loud music playing in the clubhouse after his team's 6-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
''Is that what that is?'' Melvin responded with a smile of relief.
After seven games of silence, Marcus Semien and Jake Smolinski helped turn up the volume Sunday. Each hit a two-run homer in Oakland's four-run second inning, and the Athletics snapped their seven-game losing streak.
Danny Valencia added a solo homer and Billy Butler had three hits - one short of matching his combined total in eight previous June games - as Oakland also ended a nine-game road skid, the team's longest since an 11-game slide in 2005.
Kendall Graveman and four relievers combined to throttle the Reds' offense. Fernando Rodriguez (2-0) allowed one hit over two innings of relief for the win
''We got into their bullpen and that's the strength of their team,'' Reds manager Bryan Price said. ''We couldn't get anything going against them.''
Ramon Cabrera doubled in Steve Selsky for Cincinnati's only run in the second inning. The Reds failed to complete a three-game sweep but still finished 5-4 on their homestand.
Neither starter pitched long enough to qualify for a win.
Reds left-hander John Lamb (1-4), who lasted a career-high 7 1/3 innings in his previous start Tuesday against St. Louis, tied his season low by finishing just four innings on Sunday, giving up seven hits and four runs with two walks and one strikeout.
''I was prepared mentally, physically,'' Lamb said. ''I tip my cap to them. They hit some balls pretty hard.''
Melvin lifted Graveman after Joey Votto's single leading off the fifth. The right-hander also allowed seven hits, but only one run with two walks and five strikeouts in a season-low four-plus innings.
The first four Oakland hitters in the second teamed up to produce four quick runs.
Semien followed Butler's leadoff single with his 10th homer of the season. Josh Phegley reached on a single and Smolinski hit his second homer out to the grassy area in front of the center field batter's eye.
''That was the big inning we've been missing,'' Semien said. ''We've been close a couple of times, but we always ended up not getting the big hit.''
Valencia led off the eighth with his 10th homer of the season and fourth in his last 11 games. Coco Crisp scored on Khris Davis' single in the ninth.
LHP Eric Surkamp gets his third shot at securing a spot in Oakland's rotation when he starts Tuesday against Texas. Surkamp is 0-3 with a 6.41 ERA in six starts over two previous stints with the A's this season. ''He has to go out and get some outs,'' Melvin said. ''He hasn't worked deep in a game for us. That's what he'll be trying to do Tuesday and become a consistent part of the rotation, which he hasn't been yet. Anybody has a chance to stay in this rotation. I think we've shown that if you perform, you stay. If you don't, you get sent back.''
Valencia is batting .450 (18 for 40) with four doubles, four home runs, 11 runs and seven RBIs over his last 11 games.
Reds SS Zack Cozart singled in the third to snap an 0-for-15 slump but was caught stealing as Votto struck out. Cozart followed that up by grounding out with the bases loaded in the fourth and popping out in the seventh. He has one hit in his last 18 at-bats.
Athletics: Davis returned to the starting lineup. He did not start Saturday after being hit in the left elbow by a pitch Friday, the second time in less than a week that he was hit in that spot. He singled as a pinch hitter on Saturday to snap an 0-for-9 stretch.
Reds: RHP Raisel Iglesias allowed two hits and had two strikeouts in two innings during his first rehab appearance Saturday with Double-A Pensacola. Iglesias, the team's opening day starter, has been on the disabled list since May 1 with shoulder soreness.
Athletics: Oakland is scheduled to open a 10-day, nine-game homestand Monday with the first of a four-game series against AL West-leading Texas. LHP Sean Manaea (2-3) starts for the Athletics.
Reds: RHP Daniel Wright (0-2) is Cincinnati's scheduled starter Monday in the opener of a four-game series at Atlanta - the Reds' last visit to Turner Field before the Braves move into a new facility next season.
A previous version of this story was corrected to show that Butler had three hits.