Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/22/12

For a team playing as well as it has all year, the A's made an unexpected move Thursday.

Oakland brought up its top catching prospect, Derek Norris, and Norris was in the lineup for the team's 4-1, walk-off win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Coliseum. It was the Athletics' eighth win in nine games.

Manager Bob Melvin said that Kurt Suzuki, the A's longtime starting catcher, will split time with Norris, calling them a catching tandem. Suzuki will start Friday against the Giants, Melvin said.

Norris, 23, went 0-for-3 Thursday, and he had an important defensive play in the ninth inning of a then-tied game, throwing out Dee Gordon attempting to steal second.

Norris also caught a good game. Travis Blackley went a career-high eight innings and allowed one run while striking out a career-high six, and Ryan Cook earned his second career win.

Suzuki has caught more games than anyone else in the majors since the start of the 2008 season, and his offensive numbers have declined each year since, leading to general speculation that he has been overused.

Suzuki is batting .215 with no homers and 16 RBI in 60 games. Norris was batting .273 with eight homers and 36 RBI at Sacramento.

Suzuki is under contract through next season, and the A's have an option on him for 2014. Should Norris earn the starting job full time, Oakland might look to trade Suzuki, particularly were a contender to lose a catcher to an injury.

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