Suzuki homers for A’s in 4-all tie with Royals |

Suzuki homers for A’s in 4-all tie with Royals

Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) – Chris Getz has been waiting all spring to put last year’s slump behind him. Getting two hits Thursday helped get him on the right path.

Getz tripled and singled, stole a base and scored a run for a Kansas City Royals split squad Thursday in a 4-4 tie with the Oakland Athletics. The game was called after nine innings.

Getz began the day in a 1-for-14 rut. He hit only .237 last year in 224 at-bats.

“It was the time to get some hits,” he said. “Spring is a process. Some guys can roll out of bed and start hitting. Some guys take time. It’s nice to have the feeling of getting some hits. It’s something to build on.”

Getz also showed why he’s a threat on the basepaths. He stole third base in the first and scored on a grounder to third in the fifth.

“We have been working on taking the extra base,” he said. “The guy was off the bag a little bit and I knew I’d score even if he picked it up cleanly.”

Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run homer and Matt Carson doubled home two runs for Oakland. Billy Butler, Will Myers and Kurt Mertens drove in runs for the Royals.

A’s starter Brett Anderson lasted 3 1-3 innings, allowing two runs and three hits.

“It was hot, I can say that,” Anderson said. “It felt like 100 today after being 70 the past couple games. You never get used to a 15-20 degree difference.”

It was actually 83, the warmest it’s been for a game at Oakland’s home this spring.

A’s closer Andrew Bailey made his spring debut with a perfect inning, including a pair of strikeouts.

“It’s good to see guys coming back,” Anderson said. “It’s good to see him back in the swing of things. He’s going to be an integral part of our bullpen.”

Royals starter Will Smith gave up four runs on four hits in two innings. Reliever Louis Coleman was impressive when he struck out the side in the fifth, getting Suzuki, Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui, all swinging.

“Whatever it is they are thinking, whether they want me to start in Triple-A or here, as long as I know I’ve done everything I could do, there’s not a whole lot I can do,” Coleman said.

Coleman is 11-4 with a 2.06 ERA in his first two years in the minors and has pitched at every level. He has 125 strikeouts in 113 2-3 innings.

Andy LaRoche added two hits for the A’s and is 6 for 9 over his last four games.

NOTES: Smith retired the first nine hitters, all in relief, he faced this spring. … A’s OF Coco Crisp has reached base in each of his seven games. … A’s RHP Michael Wuertz (shoulder) will throw a bullpen session Saturday and could see game action as early as Tuesday. … Royals RHP prospect Aaron Crow threw two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out one. “It’s been a good spring so far. I feel more comfortable every time out,” he said. … A’s 1B Daric Barton (bruised right calf) was scratched from the lineup. … A’s RHP Rich Harden (lat muscle) began his final cycle of throwing two days and taking a day off. … A’s LHP Craig Breslow (mild hamstring strain) is still a few days away.