A's Lineup: How the Brandons revitalized the A's

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A's Lineup: How the Brandons revitalized the A's

Oakland A's (34-36) lineupCrisp CF
Weeks 2B
Reddick RF
Cespedes DH
Smith LF
Inge 3B
Moss 1B
Suzuki C
Pennington SS
Instant AnalysisThis is the best possible incarnation of the A's lineup. Speed at the top, power in the middle, and another pseudo leadoff hitter batting ninth. An A's lineup without Cespedes, Inge, Crisp and Moss was able to defeat Friday's starter Tim Lincecum on May 20. That day, the A's scored four runs on him, and knocked him out after four innings. Cespedes is still the DH. On Wednesday he said his strained left hamstring is 80-percent and will only return to the outfield when he deems it 100-percent ready. He seems to have taken kindly to the DH role though. He is 3 for 8, with two doubles, one homer, and four RBIs since returning to the A's lineup two games ago.Also notable, is that Kurt Suzuki is back in the lineup after catching prospect Derek Norris made his Major League debut on Thursday. A's manager Bob Melvin insists they are in a time share, and that Norris is here to play. The pressure is on the veteran catcher to force Melvin to keep him in the lineup now. Suzuki is a workhorse who hates not being in the lineup, but being the class act that he is, he is helping Norris learn the A's ways. Top of the OrderCoco Crisp has been performing as the team's table-setter. He has gotten on base in his last eight games. He has scored a run in five of those games, and stolen four bases over that span. He is batting .423 (11 for 26) in his last eight games as well. He was still on the DL the last time the A's played the Giants. Heart of the OrderJosh Reddick has started to level out. He is hitless in his last 19 at-bats, and is one at-bat away from potentially tying a career-worst mark of 20 at-bats without a hit. The three-hitter who got a day off Thursday is batting .211 (16 for 76) with one home run and 29 strikeouts over his last 20 games. In his previous 21 contests, he hit .291with 10 homers, and 19 strikeouts.Bottom of the OrderThe Brandons -- Inge and Moss -- make a nice power-hitting tandem in the six and seven spots of the order. Moss is out slugging all of the Giants first basemen combined with seven homers in just 14 games. Inge is proving his value to the team both offensively and defensively. The play he made in the ninth inning on Thursday to get Matt Traenor at second on Dee Gordon's bunt swung the momentum in the game firmly in the A's favor. The A's may finally have a viable solution to their power starved corner infield spots.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

A's lineup: In rare move, Melvin makes no changes vs Astros

A's lineup: In rare move, Melvin makes no changes vs Astros

PROGRAMMING NOTE: A's-Astros coverage begins at 4pm with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

After winning their fourth straight game on Tuesday, the A's are trotting out the same lineup Wednesday against the Astros.

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) LF
2. Matt Olson (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
7. Bruce Maxwell (L) C
8. Franklin Barreto (R) SS
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
Jesse Hahn -- RHP

Houston Astros:
1. George Springer (R) CF
2. Josh Reddick (L) RF
3. Jose Altuve (R) 2B
4. Carlos Correa (R) SS
5. Brian McCann (L) C
6. Carlos Beltran (S) DH
7. Marwin Gonzalez (S) 3B
8. Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
9. Norichika Aoki (L) LF
David Paulino -- RHP