Catchers Jaso, Norris providing a spark in A's lineup
OAKLAND -- John Jaso and Derek Norris have combined to produce perhaps baseball's best catching tandem at the moment.
Jaso made his fourth consecutive start from the leadoff spot in the injured Coco Crisp's place Wednesday, having compiled three-hit games at the top of the lineup in each of the past two games. After homering to lead off the first inning in Wednesday's 4-2 loss, he's hit safely and scored a run in each of his last five games and, going back to his last 11 games, he's batting .444 (16-for-36).
"He's getting some consistent at-bats with Coco out," said manager Bob Melvin. "He has led off before and he's always profiled as an on-base guy, but now he's swinging the bat well, too.
"Those are the type of guys you don't want to walk, because you know that's what they normally do, and now when you throw the ball over the plate, he's hitting it. A lot of this has had to do with him being able to handle that leadoff spot and getting big hits."
Norris is no slacker.
He's batted .415 with 11 walks and 14 RBIs over his last 19 games, making it a rather easy decision for Melvin to plug both of his catchers in the same lineup, utilizing the designated hitter to do so.
"That's something out of Spring Training we were potentially looking at," he said. "It is a little difficult having both of your catchers in the game, so I'm always a little weary of that, but look at what they've done."
Norris went 0-for-3 Wednesday.