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Reliever McBeth fills in as Cats' DH06/13/2010 11:48 PM ET
A few years ago, what Marcus McBeth did against the Portland Beavers would not have been newsworthy. But it's been a few years since McBeth swung the bat in a game situation.
Pressed into service as Sacramento's designated hitter, the relief pitcher doubled, singled and drove in a run Sunday in the River Cats' 7-6 loss at Portland.
Injuries to a couple of key regulars forced Sacramento manager Tony DeFrancesco to bat McBeth ninth in the lineup in the finale of a four-game series at PGE Park.
In his first at-bat in a regular-season game since Sept. 6, 2004, the former fourth-round Draft pick lined an RBI single to center field in the River Cats' six-run second inning. After striking out in the third, McBeth doubled in the sixth and struck out again to end the eighth.
Versatility is nothing new for McBeth, who was drafted by the Athletics as an outfielder in 2001 after playing baseball and football at the University of South Carolina.
He slugged 10 homers, drove in 39 runs and stole 14 bases while hitting .227 for Class A Advanced Visalia in his first pro season in 2002. The South Carolina native returned to the California League briefly in 2003, batting just .130 in 15 games. He spent the rest of that season at Class A Kane County, where he hit a respectable .256 with four homers and 26 RBIs in 68 games.
After a 2004 campaign in which McBeth batted .234 with five homers and 41 RBIs at Class A Advanced Modesto, the A's decided to try him on the mound. He made 26 relief appearances across three Minor League levels in 2005, then finished second in the Texas League with 25 saves at Double-A Midland in 2006.
Oakland traded McBeth to Cincinnati in April 2007 and he made his Major League debut with the Reds, going 3-2 with a 5.95 ERA in 23 games. The 29-year-old spent all of last season at Triple-A Pawtucket in the Red Sox organization, then signed a Minor League contract to rejoin the A's last December.