Like any manager, Bob Melvin would prefer his players look ahead, not behind. Monday night was an exception.
The Rangers arrived at the Coliseum on a roll, winning seven of their past nine and owning the majors' top record. The A's were coming off a 3-7 road trip to fall below .500.
So if the thoughts of Oakland's players turned to last October, Melvin wasn't going to fight it. In fact, he endorsed it.
That uplifting, season-ending series sweep of Texas, which capped a historic comeback and clinched the American League West for the A's, is not something Melvin wanted his guys to forget.
In the first meeting between the teams since October, the A's won 5-1 behind A.J. Griffin's seven solid innings - he walked nobody for the first time this season - and back-to-back home runs by Yoenis Céspedes and Brandon Moss.
"It's well documented what the fans meant to us and the buzz that was here," Melvin said. "That's something you should always hold with you, knowing that all those things could potentially happen."
Anything for motivation. Even if it's mid-May.
"Sure," Melvin said before the game. "When you're not playing great, you're always looking for something positive to draw from."
After Mitch Moreland homered off Griffin in the second inning, Eric Sogard and John Jaso answered with run-scoring singles. Céspedes had been 1-for-20 and Moss had struck out in six straight at-bats before they hit consecutive homers in the third. Derek Norris added an RBI double in the sixth.