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Piazza returns to lineup for Oakland

March 11, 2007|From the Associated Press

As a catcher, Mike Piazza was focused on every pitch. As a designated hitter, Piazza is finding it hard to concentrate, waiting for his next turn at bat.

"You're waiting a while between at bats. It's not an easy job concentrating," Piazza said after going two for three with a double and two runs batted in for the Oakland Athletics against the San Francisco Giants on Friday, his first game since getting hit by a pitch Tuesday. "It's hard to stay in the flow of the game mentally."

As long as he keeps making solid contact -- he's hitting .500 (six for 12) -- his concentration will be just fine.

"I've always enjoyed hitting and I feel like I'm a student of hitting," he said. "I'm better off when I'm paying attention to what's going on. I take a lot of pride at the plate and I don't want to throw at-bats away. When I'm doing things the way I always do them, then I am hitting well."

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