Watson gets thrown right into fire

Watson gets thrown right into fire

OAKLAND -- After a five-year hiatus, Matt Watson's return to the big leagues is still going strong.

The 31-year-old outfielder was called up from Triple-A Sacramento on July 5 and has become a regular presence in the lineup this week. Watson hit eighth as the starting left fielder on Saturday and has started five of the last six contests.

"That's all you can ask for," Watson said. "Like I said when I got up, there's a lot of guys that can play and play at this level. There's a lot of guys in Triple-A and the Atlantic League that could be successful, it's just finding your niche and finding somebody that will play you. I owe a lot of that to [A's manager Bob Geren] for getting me in there the last couple of days."

Watson picked up a hit in three consecutive games earlier this week and has been hitting pitches with consistent authority lately. Entering play on Saturday, Watson was batting .188 (5-for-27) in 11 games this season.

"I feel fantastic defensively, knock on wood," Watson said. "In my career this is probably the most comfortable I've felt out there. I'm getting settled in the corner outfield positions."

Geren usually uses a defensive replacement for Watson in the late innings, but said he's been happy with the production from Watson and fellow outfielder Matt Carson, who was also promoted from Sacramento on July 5.

"They're both giving me some good at-bats, they really are," Geren said. "That's what you want, is to give you a quality at-bat and they both play pretty well defensively."