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Sogard held out of lineup in opener amid slump

OAKLAND -- Eric Sogard's continued struggles at the plate resulted in a day off Friday, with manager Bob Melvin instead giving the start at second base to Alberto Callaspo against Angels righty Garrett Richards.

Sogard has been entrenched in a platoon at the position since the beginning of last season, called upon to make the majority of starts against right-handers. But he's batting only .198 against them in 101 at-bats to this point.

Overall, Sogard's hitting .188 with a .262 on-base percentage. He has just nine hits in 57 at-bats in May.

"He's struggling a little bit," said Melvin. "The numbers are probably indicative of what he's doing right now. It's not like he's striking out a ton, but he's just not getting good contact right now. We've seen him get hot before, and the feeling is sometimes you start pressing a bit, so an off-day like this is probably a good thing from time to time.

"A couple good games, he'll probably be off to the races, but right now it's a bit of a struggle for him."

Still, Melvin has mostly been sticking with the infielder through his woes.

"It's similar to [Josh] Reddick," he said. "When he's struggling some, his defense always keeps him in the lineup. When you're a two-way player, you give yourself opportunities to be in there on a consistent basis. That has been the case with Sogard at second base."

Sogard has not committed an error this year, and his 170 total chances are the most among second basemen who have not made one.

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.
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