Legends On Deck

Marcus Semien Dazzles in Oakland A’s Debut

The Oakland Athletics opened their Cactus League schedule against Madison Bumgarner and the World Champion San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.  The A’s would get the best of the champs beating them 9-4 at HoHoKam Stadium.

Just like most of the teams around the league, the A’s had a “busy as usual” offseason, trying to revamp a roster with limited funding as they have done for many years.  One of the players that was brought in was Marcus Semien, who they acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox for Jeff Samardzija.

Semien made his A’s debut and instantly made his presence felt hitting a home run off Bumgarner in the first inning.   He would add a second home run in the fifth inning ending the day 3-for-3 with four RBI.  Sure it is the first game action of the spring, but it’s alright to be excited if you are an A’s fan.  In total, Oakland would score their nine runs on 13 hits.

Another interesting story out of the game, was the relief appearance by ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte.  Venditte is trying to make it now with the A’s after spending his first seven professional seasons in the New York Yankees organization.  I had the opportunity to see him pitch live while covering a team in the New York-Penn League several years ago and it was a treat.

Venditte pitches both right-handed and left-handed during a game and makes the switch on the fly, as a batter would depending on the pitcher.  He is able to do it because of a special two-thumbed glove that allows him to make the switch.  On Tuesday, Venditte made his first appearance striking out one batter left-handed and getting his second out while pitching right handed.  In his seven years so far, he is 17-22 with an ERA of 2.46, with Triple-A being his highest level.

For the Giants, Bumgarner picked up the loss and Adam Duvall went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.  Both teams face-off again on Wednesday with Jesse Chavez scheduled to start for Oakland and Jake Peavy scheduled to go for the Giants.

Baseball is back!


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