PHOENIX Batting coach Chili Davis didn't see the A's bats swing with much consistency until Wednesday, when they scored early and often against San Diego in an 11-6 win.
For Davis, that was no problem.
"The beauty of what I see with our hitters that I didn't see last spring," Davis said, "is that while there's a sense of urgency, they're not in any rush."
Davis went on to explain that he sees his hitters as having a clear idea of what they need to do to get back to their rhythms of the second half of 2012, when Oakland had one of the more dangerous lineups in baseball.
"They want to get there," he said. "But they don't feel the need to get there now. They want to get there by Opening Day. They have time to work on things now. I like that."
Oakland hitters mauled San Diego pitching for 14 hits, drew eight walks and got homers from leadoff hitter Jemile Weeks and Seth Smith. Weeks, who also had a single and a walk and drove in two runs, owns a .625 batting average so far this spring.
"Jemile continues to swing well," manager Bob Melvin said.
Dan Straily said his first start of the spring was a chance "to knock the rust off" after spending a couple of weeks in camp without pitching in a game.
"It was good to get out there," Straily said, making his first spring start ever for the A's after debuting in midseason last year as a rookie. "I felt like I'd been there before, even though I hadn't been."
The right-hander is projected to be part of the starting rotation the first week of the season, but his status after that is cloudy because his spot could go to Bartolo Colon when he comes off the suspended list.
"I'm just getting ready for a long season," Straily said. "Where I pitch isn't up to me. Wherever I go, I've got to be ready to go."
Melvin said he doesn't think Straily should be concerned about the situation and is impressed that the pitcher isn't. "He's here competing for a job."
Asked if he had a scenario in which Straily could be in the rotation all the way right from the start, the manager said, "I don't think I'm ready to go there yet. He has the ability, though."
Jed Lowrie, who already has had starts at second base and shortstop, got the call at third base and got kudos from Melvin for his defensive work as well as the two hits that left him with a .429 batting average this spring. "It's not just his offensive game," Melvin said. "He's looked good at every position we've played him, and that's what we're looking to do with him."