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Suzuki fine with limited role as A's make run

OAKLAND -- While an integral member of the A's for much of last season, Kurt Suzuki was not a part of the team's postseason push. The catcher was dealt in August to the Nationals after spending six seasons in Oakland, as the A's handed the reins to Derek Norris.

Suzuki returned to the club this year after he was acquired with cash considerations on Aug. 23, and he's been part of a three-man platoon with Norris and Stephen Vogt.

The role requires less responsibility than years past, as he's platooned with Norris against left-handed pitchers while the left-handed-hitting Vogt gets starts against righties, but Suzuki said his focus is on contributing to a team likely headed for its second straight division title.

"It's a little different for me because I wasn't here when they won," Suzuki said. "When you're in the playoff chase it makes it more exciting."

Suzuki started 73 games for the Nationals prior to rejoining the A's, hitting .222 with three home runs and 25 RBI in 252 at-bats. He received just his ninth start of the season at catcher for the A's on Saturday in relief of Norris, who started Friday night.

"It is unusual, but that's how they do it here," Suzuki said. "You just got to do the best you can with what you're given. Everybody's doing a good job, so it's working. Don't change it, right?"

Norris has excelled as of late, hitting .337 since July 1 with five of his eight home runs, resulting in limited opportunities for Suzuki.

"It doesn't matter," Suzuki said. "You find a way to get it done. You're a professional, you figure out ways to be successful."

Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for
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