ANAHEIM -- Even the hometown fans celebrated the A's lone run of the night in Anaheim on Monday.
That's because many of them were there to see Oakland catcher and Los Angeles product Dustin Garneau, who launched his first home run in green and gold in the A's 3-1 series-opening loss.
Claimed off waivers from the Rockies earlier this month, Garneau has quickly impressed within the A's organization, hence the club hasn't rushed Josh Phegley's return from the disabled list.
Phegley, who is rehabbing a left oblique strain with Triple-A Nashville, is scheduled to rejoin the A's when rosters expand Friday, giving the A's three catchers. To this point, though, Garneau has put himself in position to be among the two on next year's roster.
Along with homering Monday night, he nailed Ben Revere at second base on a stolen-base attempt and helped starter Daniel Gossett battle through an impressive start, all while playing in front of roughly 50 friends and family members.
"He does a real nice job defensively," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Works well with the pitchers, calls a good game. Just listening to him when we have our catchers meetings, just listening to the input he has -- first and foremost for him is catching the game and being on the same page as his pitchers, so you see him in between innings constantly talking to the pitcher about what happened the inning before. He's all about the catching end of it. Overall, we've been really impressed with his body of work."
Garneau, 30, was just 3-for-25 in his first 11 games with Oakland before reaching base twice in his 12th contest. After tagging Angels starter Andrew Heaney for a home run to left field in the third inning, Garneau drew a walk in the fifth -- a telling sign for the catcher, who said, "That really felt under control. I know homers are awesome, but that really felt comfortable at the plate."
Bruce Maxwell pinch-hit for him in the seventh.
"I've been working on a lot of stuff the past few weeks, and now I'm starting to feel it click and feel comfortable in the box," Garneau said. "I'm pretty comfortable with the pitching staff now, so now it's getting comfortable at the plate and trying to have productive at-bats for the team."