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Youth movement taking shape in Oakland

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The youth movement seems to have begun in Oakland, and catcher Bruce Maxwell feels like the rookies are ready to do it together.

"This is a solid group. We've said [that] over a couple years now," Maxwell said. "It's a core group of guys that have come up together, and the majority of us have been playing together for about four years now."

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OAKLAND -- The youth movement seems to have begun in Oakland, and catcher Bruce Maxwell feels like the rookies are ready to do it together.

"This is a solid group. We've said [that] over a couple years now," Maxwell said. "It's a core group of guys that have come up together, and the majority of us have been playing together for about four years now."

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Maxwell went 3-for-4 in Thursday's 12-9 loss to the Astros at the Coliseum, knocking an RBI double in the eighth. It was part of a "weird" day for the rookie, who was called up as two-time All-Star and team leader Stephen Vogt was designated for assignment.

"It's a sour taste for me. I've never been in this clubhouse without him," Maxwell said. "It's going to take me a little bit to get used to. But it is my job now, especially for the majority of righties that we face."

Maxwell did damage against the Astros' right-handers on Thursday, hitting singles in his first two at-bats against starter David Paulino. He then doubled off reliever Dayan Diaz in the eighth.

The 26-year-old was one of four rookies in the lineup for the A's on Thursday, and each reached base at least twice and recorded an RBI.

First baseman/outfielder Matt Olson, who was recalled Thursday morning, went 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI groundout in the fifth and an RBI double in the eighth. Infielder Chad Pinder finished 2-for-5 with an RBI double in the sixth, and outfielder Jaycob Brugman was 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI single in the sixth.

Video: HOU@OAK: Olson hammers an RBI double to left-center

After being down by 10 runs as late as the sixth, A's manager Bob Melvin was impressed by the way the rookies kept battling.

"These guys are going to be important. Last thing you want to see down 10-0 is guys cash it in, and that wasn't the case," Melvin said. "These guys all have something to play for. They're playing for jobs and future starting jobs. To get here in the first game and make an impact like they did, even though we were down like we were, it's good to see."

Video: HOU@OAK: Pinder rips an RBI double to left-center

Along with third baseman Matt Chapman, who is currently on the 10-day disabled list, and Ryon Healy, who has played in only 144 Major League games, it seems clear that the young core of the A's has started to take root at the highest level.

"We do get excited about getting these guys playing time, whether it's Bruce or some of these other guys," A's general manager David Forst said. "It's exciting to write out the lineup and see these guys."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Oakland Athletics