Melvin, Hahn pleased with righty's first outing

Joyce homers in A's debut; Chapman also goes deep

Melvin, Hahn pleased with righty's first outing

MESA, Ariz. -- Jesse Hahn's arm looked better than his glove, which deflected a comebacker that led to two runs in the A's right-hander's Cactus League debut against the defending World Series champion Cubs on Saturday.

Hahn, competing for the last rotation spot, was tagged for three runs in Oakland's 4-3 loss, scattering four hits in 1 2/3 innings in Oakland's spring opener. He struck out two and walked one.

Hahn sported a three-pitch mix, showing his changeup to go along with his fastball and curveball while navigating a Cubs lineup bursting with regulars amid a frenzied crowd that got a glimpse of the World Series trophy before the game.

"I was really excited to have that Game 1," Hahn said. "It felt like a big league game.

"Overall, I thought my stuff was good. In the second inning I lost a little bit of feel for command, but at the same time, it's still early, we're still in February, so I got a couple things to work on. I'm happy with it, for sure. I'm definitely going to take the positives from it."

Hahn struck out former teammate Ben Zobrist to exit the first inning unscathed, after allowing a two-out base hit to Anthony Rizzo, but he opened the second with a free pass, and a one-out double to Jon Jay put runners on second and third for Matt Szczur. The Cubs outfielder sent a bouncer toward Hahn, who couldn't make the play as two runs scored.

Jason Heyward's groundout later scored Szczur for another run.

"That was my fault," Hahn said. "I think [shortstop Marcus Semien] could've made a clean play on that, and I was just thinking I had a shot at it and I could have gotten the runner at home, but I think it was a little out of my reach there."

A's manager Bob Melvin liked what he saw from Hahn, as did battery mate Bruce Maxwell, who said, "I thought he attacked the zone really well. I thought his changeup was really good, his curveball was sharp, and he was really attacking guys today. I was really impressed. Good start for him, and he can build off that."

Right-hander Raul Alcantara, competing with Hahn, pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit with one strikeout.

Joyce makes good first impression

New A's right fielder Matt Joyce collected the club's first homer of the spring, joking afterward, "I think I set the bar way too high."

Joyce's solo home run

Joyce also took credit for the opposite-field home run hit in the same inning by third-base prospect Matt Chapman, No. 4 on the A's top 30 prospects list, accoring to MLBPipeline.com.

"I was talking with Chapman before we started," he said, "and I was just like, 'You really just want to start with contact, and you just want to take one good swing on one good pitch,' and sure enough, we both got a good swing on a good pitch."

Chapman's two-run homer

Chapman led the A's with six home runs last spring and hit 36 more between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Nashville during the regular season.

"His approach is basically how we saw it last spring, not trying to do too much, just trying to track it a little bit," Melvin said. "He knows if he squares it up it doesn't matter where it goes, he can hit it out of the ballpark."

"Man, he's strong, really strong," Joyce said. "He's gonna be a fun player to watch. He's quiet, but you can tell he works his butt off. He's got a bright future ahead of him. He's got a great swing, a great attitude."

Joyce had quite the adventure getting to the ballpark with teammate Adam Rosales, driving between the A's bus and police escorts -- one of which told him to pull over. "No!" Joyce told him, "we're with the A's!"

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.