A's notes: Sogard rewarded, Oakland's good luck starter

Griffin opens up three game set with Blue Jays

A's notes: Sogard rewarded, Oakland's good luck starter
July 29, 2013, 5:45 pm
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Eric Sogard is hitting .407 during his seven-game hitting streak. (AP)

OAKLAND -- The way A's manager Bob Melvin saw it, Eric Sogard might have thought he had the day off for the A's series opener against Toronto Monday night.

Besides, someone else was penciled in at Sogard's customary No. 9 spot -- catcher Stephen Vogt.

And a closer look would find Sogard batting second for the first time this season, the fourth time in his A's career as he also batted there twice last season and once in 2011.

"He's been swinging well," Melvin said. "He deserves to be up there. He kind of profiles the spot, too. He can handle the bat a little bit, can pull the ball if he has to, go the other way, can be a hit and run-type guy.

"So we've juggled the lineup a little over the course of the year and we'll continue doing it, depending on how guys are swinging."

The lefthanded-hitting Sogard, who platoons at second base by playing against right-handed pitchers, has essentially carried the A's offense since the All-Star break.

He is riding a career-best seven-game hitting streak and, after a career high-tying three-hit game Sunday, Sogard is batting .407 (11-for-27) in that stretch. Ten of his last 18 hits are for extra bases, with eight doubles and two home runs.

"Over the break, I just kind of wanted to hit that reset button and just kind of go back to finding that spring training swing that I had," Sogard said Sunday.

Said Melvin: "He's not trying to do too much, staying in the middle of the diamond. If it's a breaking ball he'll pull it, if it's a fastball away he'll be able to hit the ball the other way. In the middle of the plate he's hitting the ball in the center of the diamond. So he has that same type of feel up there right now that we saw in the spring when he was hitting everything hard.

"He's got the confidence going right now."

***

Baseball players are a notoriously superstitious bunch…about things that really matter, right?

So where does the fact that the A's are 7-0 entering tonight when Vogt starts rank? Well, at least he'll talk about it.

"I just want to help the team win any way I can," he said, "and I'm fortunate enough to catch in seven wins."

So no, he's not campaigning to start 162 games.

"Absolutely not," Vogt said with a laugh. "When I get my opportunities, just make the most of them and help the team win."

Vogt joined the A's in a trade with Tampa Bay for a player-to-be-named later on April 5. He is in his second stint with Oakland after catcher John Jaso was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion on Thursday.

"We're lucky to be able to have a guy like that, that we didn't even see in spring training and we didn't realize how he can contribute," Melvin said. "So, he has (contributed), across the board and he's fit in very well with the pitchers right away. He's gotten key hits for us. Nice little luxury to have that kind of left-handed bat when a guy like Jaso goes down."

Yes, Vogt is in the starting lineup against the Blue Jays.

***

Speaking of Jaso, there is no update on the concussed catcher, who has yet to undertake any physical activity.