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Crosby hits two homers in inning

3/9/2004 - MLB

PHOENIX -- It's only spring training but, it still was a
huge day for Oakland Athletics shortstop Bobby Crosby.

Crosby hit two homers in the first inning Tuesday against the
San Diego Padres, including a grand slam, and drove in six runs.
Batting second against Adam Eaton, Crosby drove a two-run
broken-bat home run over the left-field fence then hit a grand slam
to center in his second at bat of the inning.

"It's the first time I've ever hit a grand slam," Crosby said.

Manager Ken Macha decided to bat Crosby in the No. 2 hole on a
lark to see if his future shortstop might be able to hit there this
season.

The A's have designated Crosby to replace their MVP shortstop,
Miguel Tejada, who signed a free-agent deal with Baltimore during
the offseason.

"The broken bat homer was amazing," Macha said. "I don't know
if they're not making bats as well as they once did or the kid is
really strong.

"The barrel of the bat flew all the way back to the backstop
but the ball just jumped out of here."

When he came up for the second time in the first with the bases
loaded and two outs, Crosby said he thought to himself "it would
be pretty cool" if he could hit a grand slam. He did when Eaton
threw a hanging breaking ball.

Crosby is now batting .467 for the spring.

Although Crosby has some power, he hit 22 homers last season at
Triple-A Sacramento, the rookie shortstop isn't trying to become a
power hitter just yet.

"I know I have the potential to hit home runs," Crosby said.
"But this year, I'm not going to try to do it. I want to just try
to hit doubles, triples and let the homers come. I don't want to
force anything."

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^JOE COOL:@ Tyler Walker is channeling former San Francisco
49ers quarterback Joe Montana these days. The right-handed pitcher
is trying to make the San Francisco Giants as a right-handed
reliever.

Walker is trying to use Montana's legendary cool to help him
stay composed on the mound.

"He was Joe Cool," Walker said. "He just stayed cool in the
most difficult situations. That's what I want, the coolness."

Walker wears an authentic Montana jersey on the days he pitches.

"These things cost about $300," Walker said. "I'm really a
big 49ers fan. I grew up watching them with my father. My brother
and I used to argue about who would get to go to the game with the
my dad. We had two tickets."

After spending the entire 2003 season with the Detroit Tigers'
Triple-A team, Walker was signed by the Giants during the
offseason.

Walker went 2-9 with the Mud Hens last year in 29 games while
making 22 starts. The Giants plan on sending him to Triple-A Fresno
to begin the year as a reliever.

"My father came up with the idea of using the jersey," Walker
said. "I was getting mad all the time with myself when I was
pitching and of course it was hurting my game.

"Once I started wearing the jersey and thinking about Montana,
my game settled down."

Walker is such a die-hard 49ers' fan that he couldn't resist a
few comments about the team's recent personnel moves.

"I'm a big fan," Walker said. "I don't know about these moves
they've made. There just doesn't seem to be a whole lot of loyalty
going on in that organization.

"I was there at that last game Jeff Garcia played. To let him
go seems to me so crazy. Hopefully, his replacement Tim Rattay can
take the reins. ... I just wish Joe Montana could come back."

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^TENDER TIMES:@ A's catcher Damian Miller was scratched shortly
before game time on Tuesday after straining his right lab muscle
during batting practice.

"It was on my last go through the cage," Miller said. "I, at
first, felt I had a cramp but then I knew what happened."

After telling the A's trainer, Larry Davis, Miller was quickly
pulled from the A's batting order.

He's listed as day-to-day but Miller thinks he might be out
several days just because he's never had an injury like this
before.

"I won't be able to do anything. I can't throw and I can't
swing a bat," he said.

Adam Melhuse was designated the starting catcher for the game
and will probably pick up most of the catching duties until Miller
returns."

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^NOTES:@ Giants closer Robb Nen threw a 10-minute bullpen
session at Scottsdale Stadium at 90 percent velocity and reported
no difficulties. ... Giants reserve OF Jeffrey Hammonds broke his
right thumb right above the knuckle when he tried to protect his
head from an errant pitch from Milwaukee's Chris Capuano during the
first inning Tuesday. Hammonds is expected to be out four-to-six
weeks and will spend the next three weeks in a splint. ... A's
reliever Chad Bradford was cleared by a doctor to begin throwing
again. Bradford had been sidelined by a strained lower back. ...
Edgardo Alfonzo was scratched from the Giants lineup on Tuesday
with some tightness in his right forearm. The tightness isn't
considered serious and Alfonzo should be back in the lineup
Wednesday. Barry Bonds did not make the trip and took batting
practice in Scottsdale. ... Both the A's and the Giants will be
making their first cuts on Thursday, the day their minor league
camps open.