Derek Norris provided a much-needed jolt of energy to the A's offense delivering a two-run pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning to pace a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday afternoon.

With a crowd of 32333 on hand Norris brought the energy back to the Coliseum with his first career pinch-hit homer. It was also the first pinch hit of any kind in his major league career.

"We all know that I haven't had the most success pinch-hitting in my career" said Norris who was 0 for 12 before that at-bat. "Talking to some of the guys sometimes it takes a different mindset."

That new mindset was to attack early against Angels reliever Scott Downs who took the mound with 42 appearances against the A's without suffering a loss.
Downs features a heavy sinker and with Chris Young at first base and one out the left-hander was looking for a double play with his team holding a 1-0 lead.

But Downs (2-3) left a first-pitch fastball right over the plate and Norris jumped on it for his seventh home run of the year. It was the first homer allowed this season by Downs snapping a streak of 29 straight scoreless outings.

A's manager Bob Melvin has been platooning his catchers this season even with John Jaso on the disabled list with a concussion. Three A's catchers have homered in the past four games.

That includes rookie Stephen Vogt's homer Friday. He was in the lineup again Saturday against Angels right-hander Garrett Richards. But when the lefty Downs entered Melvin made the countermove despite Norris' pinch-hitting struggles.

"D-No has the ability to be a front-line starter a guy that can hit right-handed and left-handed pitching" Melvin said of Norris. "He's swinging the bat well."

The A's added another run in the seventh when Coco Crisp singled and scored on Jed Lowrie's double.