Bay Area Baseball

Follow the latest news and notes on the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics

June 29, 2013
A's, Cardinals lineups: Norris starts, Jaso available off bench

OAKLAND -- The A's still don't feel comfortable having John Jaso catching a full game with his left hand abrasion, so it's Derek Norris behind the plate today against Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright. It'll be the first game action in nearly a week for Norris, who's in a 4-for-39 hitting stretch.

"You want to give him some at-bats to try to stay current, because we do have three left-handed (opposing starters) coming up on the schedule before the break," Melvin said of Norris. "And it's not always about the offensive end. He's had some nice games with Parker."

Norris has caught 13 of Parker's 17 starts this season, and Parker has a 3.94 ERA in 77 2/3 innings in those games. Hitting-wise, Norris has always maintained he'd rather work through slumps while in the lineup than have days off, but said he realizes that's the culture in Oakland with how the A's handle their platoons.

"A lot of people go through it, not just myself," Norris said. "It can get frustrating, but it's part of the game, and the only way to get out of slumps is to get in there and make a positive performance to where you can work off of that and keep working forward."

Here's the full A's lineup today against Wainwright:

CF Crisp
DH Smith
SS Lowrie
LF Cespedes
1B Moss
3B Donaldson
RF Reddick
2B Sogard
C Norris

And the Cardinals lineup against A's right-hander Jarrod Parker:

2B Carpenter
C Molina
DH Beltran
RF Craig
LF Holliday
1B Adams
3B Freese
CF Jay
SS Descalso

* Stephen Vogt, who hit a home run for his first major-league hit Friday night, had said immediately after the game he didn't know if the A's had been able to retrieve the ball. Turns out they did -- and weren't asked for much in return.

A's clubhouse staff said a 5-year-old boy in the right-field seats caught the home run ball and, when approached by the A's about a trade, asked for only another ball in return. But A's equipment manager Steve Vucinich said: "I'm giving him a whole bunch of stuff."

Either way, Vogt said he does have the ball now and that it's a "nice memento." With the home run, Vogt snapped an 0-for-32 streak to start his big-league career (the first 25 at-bats came last year when he was playing for the Tampa Bay Rays), which was one at-bat shy of the longest hitless streak to start a career by a non-pitcher since 1973.

Vogt said he had family in the stands last night and their reaction when he met up with them afterward was "just happy. For my wife and I, having played in the major leagues was a great accomplishment. But to get that first hit, everything we've been through in the minors, living together and apart to make it work, together and apart, just to be all together for the first hit is really a dream come true."

Vogt said he also has the bat he used to hit the home run -- but he used it in his next at-bat and broke it. Regardless, he said, they'll probably go up on the wall together.

* A note from last night -- Friday marked the numerical halfway point of the season, with the A's playing their 81st game. They're 47-34, which puts them on an exact pace to match last season's win total of 94. Last year at this point they were 39-42.

-- Matt Kawahara

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About Bay Area Baseball

Matt KawaharaMatt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee’s sports staff in fall 2011.
Email: mkawahara@sacbee.com.
Phone: (916) 321-1015.
On Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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