Melvin confident Moss ready to break out offensively

Melvin confident Moss ready to break out offensively

OAKLAND -- Brandon Moss made just his third start of the season from the No. 8 hole on Friday, reflecting the first baseman's struggling stretch that manager Bob Melvin is confident will soon be over.

"Trust me, he'll get hot here soon," Melvin said Friday. "He's always one swing away from three runs. You saw what he did last year. He's a very important player on our team."

What Moss did last year was hit .291 with 21 home runs and 52 RBIs in just 84 games. This season, his average is down to .231, having collected just eight hits with 27 strikeouts in his last 63 at-bats. Overall, he has 59 strikeouts in 160 at-bats.

"He's a guy that's really streaky, at times is really hot," Melvin said. "And at times, he'll struggle some. He's just going through a tough period right now."

Melvin is positive it's almost over based on Moss' pinch-hit at-bat against Giants lefty Jeremy Affeldt on Thursday. Moss struck out but offered his manager signs of progress.

"If it was Javier Lopez, I probably don't do that," Melvin explained. "It's an over-the-top four-seam fastball guy who's going to pitch him mostly away. It's a curve instead of a slider, and he had some good swings and got himself in good counts. I liked the matchup. It didn't come through at that particular time. We want him to be aggressive and do his thing."

Moss went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts but walked and scored a run in Friday's 3-0 victory.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.