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Venditte eager to make his mark in Oakland

OAKLAND -- Over the course of his seven-year Minor League career, switch-pitcher Pat Venditte frequently envisioned himself running out of the Yankee Stadium bullpen to pitch.

But when Venditte's first Major League relief appearance came Friday night at Fenway Park with him sporting an A's uniform instead, he was just as ecstatic.

"It's all happened very fast," Venditte said. "Getting that call Thursday night, to being on the mound 20 hours later at Fenway, it's hard to put into words."

Venditte became the first full-time switch-pitcher in modern Major League history when he tossed two shutout innings in the A's 4-2 loss to the Red Sox on Friday. He retired one batter Sunday and now hopes to become a consistent contributor in an A's bullpen that has struggled in stretches this season.

After spending so much of his life trying to get to the Majors, Venditte said his new goal is to produce consistent results in the big leagues for a long period of time.

"I'm glad that Oakland has taken a chance on me and allowed me to show what I can do," Venditte said.

For A's manager Bob Melvin, having a switch-pitcher is a luxury, and one he doesn't take for granted.

"It's kind of like having a new toy," Melvin said, "one that nobody else has."

Melvin said Venditte doesn't have a set role with the club. He expects Venditte to be ready to pitch in any inning, to any batter and for any number of pitches.

Venditte's next milestone came in Oakland on Tuesday when he pitched a scoreless top of the ninth in his first appearance in front of the home crowd.

Worth noting

• RHP A.J. Griffin will throw five innings for Triple-A Nashville on Friday, Melvin said. Griffin, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, has made two scoreless rehab starts for Class-A Stockton.

"[Griffin] really feels like he's getting back to a place where he was before this went down," Melvin said. "I know he's in a good mood today. He's looking forward to going to Nashville and pitching deeper in games."

• Melvin said first baseman Ike Davis (quad) will run the bases Wednesday and will likely start a rehab assignment Saturday or Sunday.

• RHP Edward Mujica (thumb) is throwing from 120 feet, and Melvin said Mujica may throw off the mound this weekend. Melvin also said RHP Taylor Thompson (shoulder) could throw off the mound in the near future.

Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for
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