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08/23/08 10:35 PM ET

Thomas struggling since return

Veteran DH in career-worst slump after missing two months

SEATTLE -- It hasn't been easy pickings for Frank Thomas since coming off the disabled list on July 31 after a two-month bout with tendinitis in his right quadricep.

The big slugger entered Saturday's game in the middle a career-worst 0-for-23 streak and is 12-for-74 (.162) since his return.

"With about two feet he could have had a home run last night and we wouldn't even be talking about it right now," said Athletics manager Bob Geren, referring to a long shot to left field by Thomas on Friday that barely went foul.

Thomas had a rough start to the season with the Blue Jays but eventually heated up in May while with the Athletics.

"I was just looking. Right before he got hurt he had over 1.000 OPS in May, and he's always been a guy that needs a few at-bats to get his timing," Geren said. "And he's right at about 70 at-bats now since he's come back from the two-month hiatus. So he's ready to get going soon. He feels that way; I feel that way."

Geren said the opposition has been pitching the designated hitter tough and added that he doesn't treat Thomas any differently than other players despite his many years of success in the big leagues.

"A guy with that kind of career or a rookie, I mean you still just treat him like a man," Geren said. "I know that when you're struggling it's no fun, and the only difference between him and a young guy is that he's had periods where he's struggled and he's come out of it."

Jesse Baumgartner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.