Adjusting to new position, Green delivers at plate
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ching was the story early in Phoenix on Opening Day in the Arizona Fall League. But as the runs piled up late, it was a two-run double by A's prospect Grant Green that made the difference as the Desert Dogs edged the Scottsdale Scorpions, 4-3.
A 2009 first-round pick out of USC, Green began his professional career as a shortstop before the A's shifted him to the outfield. He played double-digit games at second, third, shortstop, left field and center field this season for Triple-A Sacramento, but he's returned to the AFL to get fully comfortable at second base.
"Everyone's a little bit rusty coming out and playing a real game for the first time in a few weeks, but it comes back quickly," Green said.
This is Green's third straight Fall League campaign. He was a part-time player for the Desert Dogs in 2010, then spent last fall adjusting to the outfield.
"It's not my first rodeo," Green said. "It's always fun to be here and compete. I'm just trying to get comfortable at second base, and it's going well so far."
Having taken care of business on the field, Green and his fellow A's prospects were gearing up for Game 3 of the American League Division Series against Detroit.
"Hopefully, we can get back into this thing," he said. "Gotta take it one game at a time."
The AFL campaign also got off to a good start for another A's farmhand, Phoenix starter Shawn Haviland. The 26-year-old Harvard product allowed one hit and one walk while striking out four over three scoreless frames.
Haviland was matched by Scottsdale's Chris Gloor. The Giants prospect pitched four shutout innings for the Scorpions, allowing one single while fanning five.
Scottsdale struck first in the fifth as Yankees catching prospect Austin Romine walked and later scored as Travis Witherspoon -- the Angels' No. 7 prospect -- bounced into a double play.
Phoenix answered with two runs in the sixth as Braves prospect Edward Salcedo doubled home catcher Max Stassi (A's), who opened the inning with a double, and Green, who drew a one-out walk. Green's two-out, two-run double in the seventh extended the Desert Dogs' lead to 4-1.
Scottsdale scored twice in the eighth but left the bases loaded when Romine struck out.
Brewers prospect Kyle Heckathorn (1-0) notched the win after allowing one hit in two scoreless innings. He struck out two.
Dellin Betances, the Yankees' No. 17 prospect, continued his year-long struggles with his command. He yielded two runs on a hit and two walks in 1 2/3 frames to fall to 0-1.
Witherspoon was the only Scorpion with two hits. First baseman Matt Curry (Pirates) picked up Scottsdale's lone RBI.