SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shane Peterson was one of the few comers in the A's farm system who didn't get a look on the major league roster last year. But he's getting one this spring, and he's leaving manager Bob Melvin and front-office staff wide-eyed.
Already tied for the Cactus League lead in hits coming into the game, Peterson had two Saturday -- a pair of singles -- in an otherwise uneventful 4-3 Oakland loss to the Texas Rangers.
Peterson is now 15 for 31 (.484) this spring and has four multihit games, even though he often comes off the bench, as he did in this latest game. One of his two singles against Texas drove in a pair of runs.
"Peterson, I don't even know what to say," said Melvin. "He only gets two at-bats again and gets two more hits. Man, I can't remember the last time somebody's made this kind of impression every single day."
It's exactly the kind of impression Peterson hoped he'd make on the major league staff.
"That was my goal coming into spring training," said the 25-year-old outfielder, who hit .389 with seven homers and a .484 OBP in just over 150 at-bats at Triple-A Sacramento after a promotion. "This is the first time they've seen me play, and I'm just trying to do whatever I can do to show myself. I know there are a lot of outfielders with not a lot of spots open."
Peterson has shown so much, though, that the A's might take a more extensive look at him at first base, even though he is a left-handed swinger, as is starter Brandon Moss. So far, he's seen action only at first in one split-squad game, but Melvin said he could get more.
That's fine with Peterson, who said he feels more comfortable at first base.
Peterson was a second-round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008. The A's acquired him in 2009 in the Matt Holiday deal that also netted Oakland infielder Brett Wallace and pitcher Clayton Mortenson, both now with other organizations.
So, what has been the secret to Peterson's hitting success ever since he arrived in Sacramento last year? He said a right ankle injury turned out to be a turn of fortune for him because it forced him to stay back on his swing.
"I just made a couple of small adjustments, nothing really big, but they obviously have been working," he said. "Then I think it's just the confidence factor in how comfortable I feel at the plate."
Straily gave up three hits and two runs (one earned) in the second after he stopped throwing the slider, but then pitched a quick 1-2-3 third.
"I felt relaxed and in control," he said. "I felt like myself out there for the first time in three outings."
"He mixed his pitches well," Melvin said. "He got in a little trouble, but I thought his stuff was good today.
"If he continues the pace he's on right now and has no setbacks, he certainly would be ready for the season," Melvin said.
He might have had two hits but was robbed twice by former A's prospect Aaron Cunningham, who made a diving catch of a Russell sinking liner in the third inning and then hauled in a shot to the wall over his shoulder in the seventh.