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Neither Belt nor Crawford feels particularly fluid in the batter’s box, though both hitters got solid results.

“I’m starting to feel comfortable in the box,” Crawford said. “It usually takes the first week to see all the pitches.”

Crawford was an early arrival to camp this spring, specifically to iron out things with his swing.

“You can take all the batting practice you want but it’s completely different when you start facing pitchers,” Crawford said.

Belt also arrived early and then had his spring interrupted by flying to Florida for an arbitration hearing that never happened. He returned to Arizona with a one-year contract in hand and seemed to be making solid contact right away.

“I feel OK, but not where I want to be,” Belt said. “I’ve been hitting off a tee because the weather was so terrible at home. I felt good enough to get a couple of hits and compete. By the end of spring training I hope to be exactly where I want to be.”


Jake Elmore, acquired by the A’s this week in a deal with the Chicago White Sox, singled in his first appearance. He replaced Nick Punto at second. Elmore is uniquely versatile on a team loaded with multi-position players. He can and has played all nine positions.

“It’s nice to have the versatility on a team that’s versatile,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.

Melvin also reiterated Yoenis Cespedes would serve as a designated hitter the first week of games before returning to left field.

“We want to ease him into it,” Melvin said. “He doesn’t know how to go full speed.”