Derek Norris doesn’t expect to hit home runs in the kinds of numbers that Josh Donaldson or Brandon Moss might put up.
He does expect that his home runs will have an impact. Time and again, they have, including Saturday when he capped a 9-4 A’s win over the Twins with a three-run homer in the sixth inning.
The score when he hit it was 6-2, and the extra three runs that made the differential seven runs was vitally important to the A’s in cruising home in this one.
It was the seventh time this year he’s hit a home run with at least two men on base. Three-run homers and grand slams are game-changers, and Norris has those locked in.
“I’d like to think when there are runners on base, home runs a great,’’ Norris said. “I know I’ve done that multiple times this year.
“I know my power may not equal Donaldson, Moss and guys like that, but I’d like to think that when I do (homer), it’s meaningful. When there are runners in scoring position, I’d like to try to do some damage.’’
He’s done that. And he’s done it against right-handed pitching, including Saturday, so that five of his 10 homers have come against righties even though he’s supposed to get the bulk of his at-bats against lefties.
“He has a knack for the three-run homer, it seems like most of them go to the same spot (in the left field seats),’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “His at-bats against right-handed pitching this year have been much better, therefore he’s getting g more reps against righties. His numbers have been pretty significant.’’
Norris has 22 of his 47 RBIs against right-handers after driving in five runs Saturday, three with the homer and two with bases-loaded walks in his first two plate trips. He’s making it easy for Melvin to keep finding at-bats for him against right-handed pitching.
Since four of the next five starting pitchers the A’s are down to face are right-handed, that’s good news for Norris.