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Hughes takes over at the hot corner for A's

The SportsXchange

The Oakland A's have a new third baseman, and a third Australian.

Luke Hughes, acquired off waivers from Minnesota on Sunday, was in the A's lineup Monday at third base and batting third. His debut with Oakland was not auspicious: He made two errors and went 0-for-3, sinking his average to .154 overall, as Oakland lost 4-0 to the White Sox.

Converted catcher Josh Donaldson, who was the starting third baseman most of the first two weeks of the season, was sent to the minors to make room for Hughes on the roster. Donaldson was playing reasonably well defensively, but he was batting .094. Eric Sogard, the other option at the position, was batting .167.

Hughes joins fellow Aussies Grant Balfour and Rich Thompson as the A's became the first team ever with three Australians on their roster. Thompson made his Oakland debut Monday and gave up one hit in two-thirds of an inning, allowing an inherited run to score.

Hughes, who did start one double play, is likely to see everyday action as manager Bob Melvin gets his first extended look at him.

The 27-year-old also can play first and second, positions at which he's seen more big-league time. Should the A's decide they don't need to keep two left-handed-hitting first basemen (Daric Barton and Kila Ka'aihue have been sharing the spot lately), Hughes can serve as a backup at that spot.
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