PHOENIX -- There's a very good reason why professional baseball players and coaches are in the dugout and on the field, and the fans are in the stands. That much was evident as the Oakland Athletics broke out their lumber in a 11-6 win over the Padres at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The A's sent nine runners to the plate in the first inning and it was Jemile Weeks who set the tone early. As he stepped into the batter's box a fan in the crowd yelled "Don't swing for the fences!" Fortunately Weeks wasn't listening. He smashed a line drive home run to left field for the A's first run of the game.
"It's good to see," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "It seems like we've been a little spotty early in games. Jemile continues to swing it well."
Adam Rosales, Seth Smith, and Yoenis Cespedes all reached base after Weeks. Jed Lowrie -- who got his first start of the spring at third base -- stroked a two-run single to give the A's a 3-2 lead. They went up 4-2 when John Jaso added a sacrifice fly.
In the second inning, Weeks led off with a walk and scored on an Adam Rosales double. Smith then hit a towering shot off the scoreboard in right-center field to give the A's a 7-2 lead.
"He's got that ability," Melvin said of Smith's blast. "And then for me, even more impressive was the first at-bat off the left hander, not trying to do too much and lining the ball down the left field line."
Weeks also added a sacrifice fly in the third inning to make it 8-4 A's. Weeks is now hitting .625 this spring with two doubles, one homer, and four RBI. Entrenched in a battle to win the second base job for the A's, Weeks looks like a man possessed on the field.
Chris Young Update:
Outfielder Chris Young was expected to start in right field against the Padres , but was held out for precautionary reasons. He left Sunday's game early after feeling cramping in his left quadriceps. He took batting practice before the game and didn't have any issues while working out with the team.
"He ran really well out there," Melvin said. "If you saw him running he was running full speed."
Melvin hasn't made out his lineup for Thursday yet, he is waiting to see how everyone is feeling health-wise.
Don't look now but Daric Barton is hitting .571 this spring. In addition to having what some teammates are calling an "offensive lineman beard" he is coming up big at the plate. He hit a double off the top of the wall in right field and has looked comfortable this spring.
"Everything has looked really good," Melvin said. "He's looked really healthy from the shoulder, last year he still wasn't healthy from the shoulder. He's not getting bogged down with numbers at this point, he's just trying to go out and play and make an impression again."
Barton, 27, underwent shoulder surgery prior to the 2012 season.
What A Relief It Is:
Relievers Pat Neshek and Chris Resop each tossed a scoreless inning on Wednesday. Their experience could make them valuable additions to the A's bullpen. It will be a stiff competition to land spots in the A's very deep 'pen this season.
Anderson on the Mound:
On Thursday fans will get their first look at potential Opening Day starter Brett Anderson. He will be starting against the Cubs and is expected to be followed by Bartolo Colon, Evan Scribner, Hideki Okajima, Brian Gordon, Pedro Figueroa, and Jordan Norberto.