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5-Run 3rd Propels A's To 7-4 Win; Weeks, Peterson Optioned

"%$#&%@&&&#$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" It needed to be said.
"%$#&%@&&$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" It needed to be said.

UPDATE: According to Jane Lee, Jemile Weeks and Shane Peterson have been optioned to Sacramento.

If you don't care about Cactus League results, then you probably don't care that Oakland evened up its record at 12-12. But they still did.

The A's and Dodgers traded 2-run HRs in the 1st, with Andre Ethier taking A.J. Griffin deep in the top half and Jed Lowrie "going yard" off of Josh Beckett in the bottom half. LA retook the lead briefly in the top of the 3rd on a towering HR by Carl Crawford, but Oakland answered with a 5-spot in the bottom of the 3rd, highlighted by Seth Smith's 2-run single and a Derek Norris HR.

Griffin's line was mixed: 4.2 IP, 5 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, and the 2 HRs. However, I think the 1 BB / 8 K really does tell the more accurate story because it was "hitters' conditions" in Phoenix today, and in particular Crawford's HR looked like a lazy fly ball in most ballparks under most weather conditions.

Nate Freiman made his A's debut, serving as Oakland's DH. I had a chance to see 2 ABs and just based on that I would note that he showed good plate discipline, laying off a couple very close two-strike pitches off the plate, but that his swing looked a bit loopy to me. This is not unusual for taller players (Frieman is 6'8"), who have more plate to cover, longer arms and legs, and as a result generally have "more moving parts". However, the fact that it's typical doesn't make it any less of a problem. There is, of course, precedent for taller hitters having great success: Frank Thomas and Dave Winfield are two notable examples. I look forward to seeing more of Freiman as he further complicates the "final roster spots" situation this week.

Nakajima? Well, what can you say? 0 for 3 to drop his Cactus League average to .150 and not the strongest throwing arm on display. With each passing day, I am more and more convinced that if the A's do have the option of starting him in AAA (can anyone answer this definitively?), that's where he'll be come April 1st.

Other noteworthy happenings...Grant Balfour pitched a tidy 1-2-3 inning and appears more than ready for Opening Night. Derek Norris now has 5 HRs, and Eric Sogard bounced out in his only AB to drop his average to .525. The bum.