03/11/07 9:00 PM ET
Notes: Blanton gearing up for season
Righty shows midseason intensity in Sunday's start
By Rick Eymer / Special to MLB.com
In Sunday's split-squad game at Tempe Diablo Stadium, Eric Chavez, Nick Swisher and Daric Barton hit solo home runs, doubling Oakland's total on the spring to six. Right-hander Shane Komine allowed a run on four hits over three innings. He walked one and struck out two.The A's scored four runs in the eighth to win, 7-6. Back in action: A's infielder Lou Merloni participated in his first full workout on Sunday, nearly a week after getting hit by a pitch on his helmet. Merloni has been limited to hitting off a tee as he recovered from a slight concussion, which left him groggy and puffy for a while. The seven-year veteran was signed to a Minor League deal and invited to camp as a non-roster player. Manager Bob Geren has seen Merloni play, so missing a week of Spring Training wouldn't hinder his chances. "I've seen him at every level," Geren said. "He's an overachiever-type guy; a managerial-favorite-type guy. He knows how to play the game, and he has a good work ethic." Plenty of Perez: Infielder Antonio Perez played in his 10th game of the spring on Sunday and leads the A's in plate appearances. It's all by design. "Sometimes I wonder if I'm playing him too much," Geren said. "We've got him a lot of action. It's good for him to get a chance to play regularly. He's able to play everywhere, and that's what he needs to do." Take 5: Rule 5 players Ryan Goleski and Jay Marshall will continue to get plenty of action during spring games as the A's determine whether they are worthy of a roster spot or will be offered back to their original teams. "I want to keep them as long as possible," Geren said. "They won't be taking anything away from anybody. They can decide on the last day if they want." Goleski went hitless in his first 14 at bats and is 2-for-26 overall through Sunday's action. "Before he got the two hits, it looked like he was putting too much pressure on himself," Geren said. "Since then he seems much more relaxed. He's going to be given a great shot at making the team. We just told him to be himself." Roster moves: The A's optioned left-hander Dan Meyer, and right-handers Santiago Casilla and David Shafer to Triple-A Sacramento, and reassigned right-handers Kaz Tadano and Connor Robertson, left-hander Dallas Braden, and outfielder Vince Faison to their Minor League camp. Up next: Southpaw Joe Kennedy (0-0, 22.09) looks to reverse his spring fortunes on Monday when he takes the mound against the Seattle Mariners in Peoria. Kennedy has allowed a team-high nine earned runs in 3 2/3 innings over his previous two starts. Kennedy is a front-runner for the fifth spot in the A's rotation. Seattle sends righty Felix Hernandez to the mound.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.