BOSTON -- When approached about the differing markets that exist in Oakland and Boston, Ryan Sweeney laughed and admitted that more pressure comes with the latter.
So far, he's thriving in it.
The left-handed-hitting Sweeney wasn't in the lineup against his former team on Monday, with southpaw Tommy Milone on the mound for the opener, but it marked his first reunion with the club he spent four years with, before joining Andrew Bailey in Boston following a deal that sent Josh Reddick to Oakland during the offseason.
Sweeney entered the day batting .373 with a .962 OPS through 18 games, along with 11 doubles. He tallied 11 doubles during the entire 2011 season.
"I know after last season, which was very difficult for him, that he refocused on what he needed to do," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He spent the whole offseason working very hard on what I would think would be a comeback season for him. He's a terrific outfielder at every position and a line-drive hitter that probably plays very well in this ballpark. I'm glad he's off to a good start. He can slow down during this series, though."
Sweeney said he has benefited greatly from time spent in the cage with the likes of Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz.
"Obviously [this park] suits me a little better," said Sweeney. "I've always been the type of person when sometimes you go into a ballpark and you just feel like it's overmatched, it's so big. When you have that confidence and you go here, you know that you can hit a ball out to center or right or hit one off the Monster."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.