Barton's Debut A Success

Major league debuts are supposed to be difficult, but Oakland A's rookie Daric Barton made it look easy on Monday night. The A's top prospect walked in his first two at-bats, collected hits in his next two and lined out in an eventful first major league game.

Daric Barton's red-hot post-season bat was a big reason that the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats advanced to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series. Batting .550 with four homers in five games against the Salt Lake Bees in the River Cats' first round playoff series, Barton was riding a hot streak when he arrived in Seattle to make his major league debut on Monday.

Barton had quite a major-eague debut. Barton, 22, went 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two walks in a 9-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners. He also fielded his position cleanly and generally looked the part of a major leaguer in his first outing.

Barton's arrival has been much anticipated for a team that fell out of postseason contention earlier than any A's team since 1998. Manager Bob Geren indicated before the game that Barton would get substantial playing time for the rest of the season.

Barton's big night came in the same game as his former Sacramento teammate Kurt Suzuki pounded his first major league grand slam. Suzuki and Barton figure to be big parts of the core of the A's 2008 squad. Suzuki has posted a .442 SLG in 165 major league at-bats during his rookie season. His seven homeruns are the most by an A's catcher since Adam Melhuse hit 11 in 2004.

Joe Blanton earned his 13th win on Monday, going seven strong innings. He allowed two runs and lowered his season ERA to 3.77. Blanton is second in the AL in innings pitched this season. He has been the winner in both of the A's wins on this road-trip.

Huston Street picked up his 13th save of the year by recording four outs. He came into the game with the tying run at the plate and two-outs in the eighth inning. However, the A's made the save easy for Street in the ninth, when Dan Johnson hit a grand-slam to give Oakland a 9-3 cushion. It was the first time since 2003 that the A's have hit two grand-slams in one game.

TheSportsXChange contributed to this report.

Oakland Clubhouse Top Stories