Oakland A's Camp Notes: Swisher Ends Slump

PHOENIX - The A's pitching struggled and Oakland fell to Seattle, 11-4. However, rookie Nick Swisher was a bright spot for the A's, breaking a spring training slide that had been weighing on him.

OF Nick Swisher freely admitted he was pressing the first two weeks of Cactus League play.

"I was trying to impress people," Swisher said. "I'm the type of guy who always wants to go out and impress people. Maybe that's a bad thing."

Swisher snapped out of a 1-for-18 skid Tuesday with three singles from the right side, one of the few highlights for the A's in an 11-4 drubbing by the Seattle Mariners.

"Swisher had a nice day," A's manager Ken Macha said. "Everybody wants to do well all the time."

The slump didn't take away the natural swagger in Swisher's walk, but he was a little more quiet than usual.

"It's all starting to come into place," Swisher said. "I was getting it handed to me. Every level that you go to, you have to learn how to hit at that level. I wasn't where I wanted to be. After today, I just want to keep things going."

Keith Ginter struck out three times Tuesday and also failed to backhand a grounder up the middle that led to a run. Ginter is 5-for-25 this spring.

Macha continues to rotate Swisher, Eric Byrnes and Charles Thomas between all three outfield positions to increase their versatility.

"The sun sets in different ways and that's the biggest thing you have to worry about," Swisher said. "I just listen to Kotsay and all the things he's teaching me. It's paying off."


--Swisher isn't the only player on the A's projected opening day roster who hasn't hit much this spring. Bobby Crosby is 5-for-24. Scott Hatteberg is 5-for-19. Mark Kotsay is 5-for-26.

--RHP Huston Street, one of six candidates for the final bullpen job, allowed his first run of the spring in five innings.

--It wasn't a good day for any of the bullpen candidates. RHP Jimmy Serrano gave up two in two innings. Rule 5 draft pick Tyler Johnson gave up two hits, two walks and two runs in one-third of an inning before Britt Reames bailed him out of more damage.

--RHP Kirk Saarloos is happy he elected to rehab his right elbow rather than have offseason surgery. Doctors discussed doing "Tommy John" surgery but decided it wasn't necessary. Saarloos said his arm hasn't felt this good since he pitched in college, and he's in the mix for a job on the A's pitching staff.

--2B Keith Ginter struck out three times Tuesday and is 2-for-20 since getting three hits in his first four at-bats. Ginter, who is competing with Mark Ellis and Marco Scutaro for the starting second base job, also failed to backhand a grounder up the middle that led to the sixth run off starter Barry Zito.

--OF Jason Perry was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento before Tuesday's game, dropping the players in camp to 45.

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