Johnson glad to get 1st spring game out of the way

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2014 at 2:31 am •  Published: February 28, 2014

PHOENIX (AP) — New Oakland closer Jim Johnson was glad to get through his first outing of the spring with the Athletics, and manager Bob Melvin is allowing him to prepare at his own pace.

"Guys like him you don't worry about," Melvin said after the Athletics' 11-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.

The A's acquired Johnson, last year's AL saves leader, for Jemile Weeks in a December trade with the Baltimore Orioles. Johnson converted 50 of 59 save opportunities, going 3-8 with a 2.94 ERA, with the Orioles.

Johnson signed to a 1-year, $10 million deal in January to replace Grant Balfour, who signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.

He wanted to throw as many fastballs as he could against the Brewers as he tries to establish command of the strike zone.

"I have a game plan for what I want to accomplish," Johnson said. "I felt like I was holding the runner at first if that makes a difference."

He felt good about what he accomplished in his one inning of work. He allowed three hits, including a home run, and struck out one.

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