OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp (heel) and Josh Donaldson (hamstring) are back in the A's lineup today against the Mariners and nemesis Felix Hernandez. Chris Young also gets the start in right field instead of Josh Reddick. Manager Bob Melvin said that's to get Reddick a day off, along with giving Young a chance to build on his 3-for-3 night at the plate Friday, which included his first home run since May 24.
"Anytime you have a really good night like he did last night it's nice to be able to get some carryover," Melvin said.
Carryover has been the challenge for Young, who has six multi-hit games since April 29 but is still batting .184. And starts may be hard to come by in the next few weeks with the A's beginning a stretch today in which Melvin expects to face 16 consecutive right-handed starting pitchers. Melvin said he'll try to keep his right-handed platoon players -- like Young, Nate Freiman, Adam Rosales and Derek Norris -- involved with pinch-hit opportunities and the occasional start.
One positive -- if you want to look at it that way -- is that the right-handers won't come much tougher than the two the A's face the next couple days. Hernandez is 14-6 with a 2.70 ERA in 27 career starts against the A's, including his 7 2/3 shutout innings at the Coliseum on Opening Day. Tomorrow's Mariners starter, Hisashi Iwakuma, has been one of the best pitchers in the American League this season -- he's 7-1 with a 1.79 ERA.
Here's the A's lineup against King Felix:
And the Mariners lineup against A's right-hander A.J. Griffin:
* Just for fun, the career lines of the A's starters today against Hernandez. For the most part, they're not stellar:
Crisp: 10-for-52 (.192), no extra-base hits, 2 RBI, 3 walks, 11 strikeouts
Smith: 6-for-16 (.375), 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Cespedes: 4-for-15 (.267), 1 double, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts
Lowrie: 1-for-12 (.083), 6 strikeouts
Moss: 2-for-12 (.167), 1 double, 4 strikeouts
Sogard: 2-for-11 (.182), 1 walk, 1 strikeout
Donaldson: 2-for-8, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Jaso: 1-for-5, 1 double, 1 RBI, 1 strikeout
Young has never faced Hernandez.
* We didn't catch Dan Otero last night after his A's debut, in which he pitched 1 1/3 innings and allowed a run in the eighth on three singles. Otero, who was called up earlier in the day, said he "felt like I didn't slow things down as much as I wanted to. It was kind of a hectic day, meeting the guys for the first time, meeting the staff for the first time. ... Gave up a run that ended up being the run that decided the game, which you never want to be the reason for. Next time hopefully I'll get back in there and make good pitches."
All three singles off Otero were by left-handed hitters. The first two, Nick Franklin and Kyle Seager, appeared to do a pretty nice job of going the other way on outside pitches tailing away. Otero, though, said the pitch to Seager "was supposed to be in -- that's why."
Otherwise, Otero said he "made good pitches after that." He also said it was a little ironic that Raul Ibanez got the RBI single off him that proved the decisive run, since the two have worked out together in recent offseasons.
"Down in Miami. We're both from there so we worked out two or three offseasons together," Otero said. "It was unfortunate that he had to get that hit."
-- Matt Kawahara