MESA, Ariz. -– Two exhibitions aren’t enough to draw conclusions from, so A’s fans should just enjoy the stats Marcus Semien is putting up right now.
The shortstop went 2-for-2 with a walk and three RBI Wednesday against the Giants, which came on the heels of his two-homer debut a day earlier. Through two games, Semien is a perfect 5-for-5 with two home runs, four runs and seven RBI.
He has yet to be tested much defensively at short, but a guy can only control so much. Semien’s showing with the bat is a very bright spot early on for the A’s, who beat the Giants 9-2 and have won their first two Cactus League games for the first time since 2003.
[STIGLICH: Semien enjoys 2-homer, 4-RBI day in A's debut]
Semien yanked a two-run single to left field in the first inning off Jake Peavy, then followed with another RBI single to left-center in the A’s four-run fourth.
“He’s not trying to do too much,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He has some power. He’s lengthening out a little in counts when he’s looking for a certain pitch, and in other counts he’s trying to do the right thing, stay up the middle. It’s impressive.”
DROPPING LUMBER: Semien’s at-bats weren’t the only bright spot for Oakland on Wednesday. Josh Reddick, hitting in the third spot, was 3-for-3 with two runs and two RBI. He twice grounded sharp singles through the right side and sprayed another single to left to score Eric Sogard in the fourth.
“The ball in, he seemed to react well,” Melvin said. “Ball away, he stayed with it out there. Good approach.”
In general, Melvin was pleased with the work of his left-handed hitters against the Giants left-handed pitching, singling out Eric Sogard and Ike Davis (both 2-for-3) and catcher Bryan Anderson (2-for-3, 2 RBI) for praise.
CAMP BATTLE: The next three days feature three starting pitchers all fighting for spots in the rotation. Barry Zito makes his first exhibition start Thursday against the Cubs on the road. On Friday, Kendall Graveman takes the hill against Arizona. Then Chris Bassitt goes against the Angels on Saturday.
QUOTABLE: “It’s not like he’s going out to play shortstop.” – Outfielder Sam Fuld, saying that shifting from center field to left won’t be a huge adjustment for Coco Crisp.
ODDS AND ENDS: Jesse Hahn – an offseason pitching addition as are Graveman and Bassitt – entered in relief of Jesse Chavez and allowed two runs on three hits in one inning. Buster Posey got to him for a two-run double. … Eury De La Rosa, a lefty contending for a bullpen spot, threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout. … The A’s-Mariners game set for March 12 at Hohokam Stadium will be bumped up an hour to 12:05 (MT), to accommodate filming for an HBO program involving the fight against cancer.