Vogt swinging hot bat, belts two home runs
PHOENIX -- Stephen Vogt hit a pair of homers off Seattle's Scott Baker, and the A's edged a split-squad Mariners club, 6-5, on Saturday afternoon at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Vogt has three homers to go along with a .395 average this spring, but he's still likely to be the odd man out at catcher for the A's. Despite his exceptional spring, the A's are expected to start the season with platoon partners Derek Norris and John Jaso behind the plate.
Norris, too, has enjoyed a productive spring. He collected two more hits in Saturday's win, upping his Cactus League average to .419.
It was a rough day for Mariners rotation hopeful Baker, who allowed six runs on seven hits with six walks and no strikeouts.
On the other side, lefty Scott Kazmir allowed three runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings his final start in Arizona, tallying 72 pitches. He will next pitch Thursday in San Francisco against the Giants in exhibition play.
It was an encouraging day for Kazmir, who was scratched from his last start with minor triceps tendinitis. The southpaw said he "felt great" physically Saturday.
He retired 12 of his final 14 batters, after allowing five of the first six to reach. Endy Chavez led off with a double and promptly scored on Nick Franklin's base hit. Stefen Romero and Logan Morrison followed with singles, allowing Franklin to score.
Morrison, competing for a job as a designated hitter and backup first baseman for the Mariners, hit a two-run homer off righty Dan Otero in the fifth.
Up next: The A's have split-squad teams in action at home and on the road Sunday. Right-hander Jesse Chavez, who has already locked up a rotation spot, will pitch at Phoenix Muni against the Cubs, with live coverage on MLB.TV. Over in Peoria, Ariz., bullpen candidate Josh Lindblom gets a start against the host Mariners, available live on Gameday Audio. Both games are slated to begin at 1:05 p.m. PT.