SEATTLE -- He's been in an Oakland uniform for just over a month, but backup catcher George Kottaras is playing a key role as the A's continue to pursue an American League Wild Card berth. The Canada native had 11 RBIs and three home runs in his past four games heading into Saturday's matchup with the Mariners, including a three-run blast off AL Cy Young Award contender Felix Hernandez on Friday. "I just feel comfortable at the plate right now," he said. "Things are clicking and I'm not trying to do too much. Just trying to take advantage of every situation I can."
The 29-year-old Kottaras, who was acquired July 29 from Milwaukee for right-handed pitcher Fautino De Los Santos, said the transition has been smooth and that he's jelled nicely with his new teammates. Manager Bob Melvin has liked what he's seen from the catcher, inserting Kottaras into the starting lineup against right-handed pitchers Friday and Saturday. The A's skipper called Kottaras somewhat of a veteran on this young squad and is impressed with the way he is getting accustomed to the team. "He's a guy that has played in non-everyday roles, and one of your jobs of being a second catcher is to make sure you go the extra yard to know our pitchers," Melvin said. "He's really good about that."