Athletics 10, Padres 9(10)

Oakland right-hander Clayton Mortensen is on the fringe of the

competition for the final spot in the Athletics’ rotation. Finally

getting a start gave him a chance to stretch things out.

San Diego right-hander Kevin Correia threw more than 60 pitches

in his third start of the spring with mixed results.

Adrian Cardenas scored on Mitch Canham’s throwing error with two

outs in the ninth as an A’s split squad beat the Padres 10-9 in 10

innings on Saturday.

The A’s escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the 10th and

the Padres, who lost their fourth straight, came close to getting

out of their own bases-loaded jam.

Chris Denorfia had three hits and drove in a run for the Padres.

Chase Headley had two hits and drove in two runs and Tony Gwynn,

Jr. added a pair of hits. Mike Antonelli added a two-run single in

the five-run ninth.

Rajai Davis went 3 for 4 with an RBI and both Travis Buck and

Dallas McPherson hit a home run for the A’s. Patterson, Eric

Chavez, Gregorio Petit and Adrian Cardenas also drove in runs.

Mortensen went three innings, allowing three runs and five hits.

Correia lasted 3 2-3 innings, giving up five runs and six hits with

no walks and three strikeouts.

Mortensen, who came to the A’s in a deadline trade with the St.

Louis Cardinals for Matt Holliday in July, got close to his

50-pitch limit.

“It felt good to get a start and get back into my own

routine,” Mortensen said. “I’ve been a starter my whole career

and there’s a different mental focus to it. It was nice to get into

a rhythm. I gave up a couple of runs but I also got a lot of ground

balls and that’s what I’m supposed to do.”

Mortensen recorded seven of his nine outs on grounders and all

but one of the five hits allowed were grounders through the

infield.

Undrafted out of high school, Mortensen began attracting scouts

as a senior at Gonzaga University, when he finished 9-2 with a 3.92

ERA and 122 strikeouts in 119 innings. He was the West Coast

Conference Pitcher of the Year.

“That was a make-or-break year for me,” Mortensen said. “I

had to make up my mind to work harder if I wanted to play pro ball.

I had to put it all on the line.”

That meant focusing on drills and mechanics, and dedicating

himself to the weight room.

“We’re all still close friends from that year and we all came

together,” Mortensen said. “We made a run at it and actually won

the conference title. I think we brought the program back to

life.”

Mortensen followed fellow Rexburg, Idaho, resident Matt

Lindstrom, who pitches for the Houston Astros, into pro baseball by

five years.

“He grew up with my older brother Damon, so he was always at

the house,” Mortensen said. “I didn’t really know he was a good

pitcher until I saw him in junior college and realized he had what

it takes.”

Lindstrom became a model for Mortensen, who made his major

league debut with the Cardinals last year and pitched in September

for the A’s.

“It was nice to get that taste of it,” Mortensen said. “What

it’s like, how the hitters make adjustments. You see that and it’s

motivation to work harder, to stay consistent with my

delivery.”

Correia, who caught on with the Padres last spring training,

continues to work on getting better.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself,” he said. “I want to

improve on last year. I’m always working on something. Right now

I’m using all my pitches and getting my command.”

Notes: Padres OF Matt Stairs received a warm ovation from A’s

fans even though he has not been in the Oakland organization since

2000. … A’s RHP Justin Duchscherer is scheduled to throw in a

minor-league game on Tuesday and could pitch in a spring game the

following Sunday. … A’s OF Coco Crisp (hamstring) had the day off

and will resume training Sunday. … Padres’ 1B Oscar Salazar was

scratched from the starting lineup with an ongoing foot problem.

… A’s LHP Dallas Braden is also scheduled to pitch in a

minor-league game Tuesday to keep him on schedule. … Padres

manager Bud Black used a fifth infielder in the 10th with Jemile

Weeks at-bat. Ryan Webb struck him out.