03/08/2013 6:07 PM ET
Griffin posts strong outing in rough conditions
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
PEORIA, Ariz. -- The rain fell on and off, the heavy wind was blowing straight out, and -- because of the A's offensive outburst on Friday -- there was far too much time between his trips to the mound.
But A.J. Griffin wanted no part of any of those excuses.
The Oakland starter battled miserable conditions to toss three very solid innings in which he allowed one run -- a homer to Seattle's Casper Wells in the second inning. He struck out four and walked none.
"Personally, I don't want to be the guy that's like 'Oh, I didn't think I was pitching because it's raining,' and then we go and lose a game we shouldn't lose," Griffin said.
Griffin made an adjustment on his curveball between his starts, bringing his arm over the top of his body more because he felt the pitch was too flat.
"When I started playing catch in the offseason, I probably wasn't getting back to the arm slot that I was [in the past]. It's an easy fix, just something that they brought to my attention, and it just happened to be the thing that helped the most."
To combat the wind conditions, Griffin and catcher John Jaso decided before the game they would pound hitters inside and keep the ball down in the zone more than usual.
It worked for Griffin, who allowed just one run, compared with the 12 runs and six homers surrendered by Mariners pitching in three innings.
"We had a gameplan going into that game -- staying hard in and not letting them get extended," Jaso said. "A.J. executed."
Donaldson goes deep twice after forgetting jersey
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Josh Donaldson might want to get used to the No. 98 A's jersey he wore on Friday.
After the A's third baseman forgot to pack his regular No. 20 shirt and followed that up by hitting a pair of monstrous home runs against the Mariners, Oakland manager Bob Melvin kidded that he may have to force Donaldson to wear No. 98 permanently.
Donaldson wasn't so keen on that idea, but he's open to trying out the number again.
"I don't know if it was the number or not," Donaldson said with a sheepish grin following Friday's game, which was called after 3 1/2 innings because of rain. "But I might give it another shot."
The stats don't lie. While wearing No. 20, Donaldson is just 1-for-20 this spring. But in No. 98, he's 2-for-3 with the two homers and three RBIs.
After the game, Melvin was asked if he would fine Donaldson for the jersey mishap or shake his hand because of the offensive outburst.
"He hit homers," Melvin said, "so we'll shake his hand."
Surprisingly, Melvin didn't seem the least bit taken aback by Donaldson's gaffe. He said Donaldson hadn't forgotten his jersey before, but added, "there has been much worse."
"He needs some help -- we'll put it that way -- with some of the non-baseball stuff," a grinning Melvin said. "The legend grows. It's not a big surprise that he forgot his jersey, but he made a lot of use of No. 98."
Both of Donaldson's homers would have been long gone even if the wind wasn't blowing out as it was on Friday. On a day that saw six home runs between the two clubs, his pair stood out the most.
The first came a few feet shy of hitting the left-center field light pole that rests about three quarters of the way up the grass seating section at Peoria Sports Complex. The second bounced off the base of the scoreboard in left field, at the very top of the grass.
"The biggest thing for me is just getting comfortable in the box," Donaldson said. "The first few at-bats I had here, I just haven't, and today I felt pretty comfortable and got a couple good pitches to hit."
A's catcher John Jaso said Donaldson "looked like he was an A-ball guy brought up and swinging away." He added that if he had been told the story but not been given a name, he would've guessed it was Donaldson in a heartbeat.
The A's play Texas in Surprise on Saturday, and Donaldson doesn't plan on committing to any sort of change just yet.
"I just like the number 20," Donaldson said. "But 98 worked today, so we'll see."
Weeks projected to return Sunday
PHOENIX -- Sunday is still Jemile Weeks' projected return date, but A's manager Bob Melvin isn't planning on rushing his second baseman back into action.
Weeks bruised his right shoulder last Friday attempting to turn a double play. X-rays were negative, but he is still having enough trouble throwing and swinging from the right side to warrant a bit more rest.
"We're still kind of hopefully targeting Sunday," Melvin said. "But we're certainly not putting any pressure on him to do that. It's what we thought yesterday, and I wouldn't say that we're off that yet. [Sunday] is probably the earliest."
Weeks is in the thick of a tight second base competition with Scott Sizemore, who returned from a bruised hand on Tuesday, and Jed Lowrie, an interesting option because of his ability to play every infield position. Though he played the majority of the club's games at second last year, Weeks slumped to a .221 batting average.
Melvin said the competition could come down to the very end of camp.
"There's more that goes into it than just 'OK who is playing second base?'" Melvin said. "It might be who's playing second base against a righty? There are a lot of things that could potentially play into it due to the flexibility that we have."
• Melvin on his forthcoming decision on who makes the bullpen out of spring: "The fact that most of those guys are pitching pretty well doesn't make it any easier. My guess is that it's going to play out all the way to the end."
• Because of rain, the A's canceled their on-the-field batting practice at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Friday, opting instead to send their hitters to take indoor BP at the Minor League facility. They didn't go through any infield/outfield drills either.
• Right-hander Michael Ynoa was slated to throw live batting practice on a back field Friday, but that was washed out by the morning rain. Ynoa hasn't pitched in a game this spring after he missed the first 10 days of camp because of chicken pox.
• Rain prevented right-hander Chris Resop from making his fourth appearance this spring, and Melvin was still deciding how to get the right-hander his usual work. It's likely Resop will pitch Saturday against Texas.