A's Lineup: Moss, Carter platoon continues

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A's Lineup: Moss, Carter platoon continues

SEATTLE -- The A's start the most brutal stretch of their 2012 schedule on Friday in Seattle. Seventeen of Oakland's next 20 games are on the road.

Today's lineups, as announced by managers Bob Melvin and Eric Wedge.
Oakland Athletics (76-60) lineupCoco Crisp, CF
Seth Smith, DH
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Brandon Moss, 1B
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
George Kottaras, C
Cliff Pennington, 2B
Instant AnalysisNo player on the A's roster has hit a home run against Felix Hernandez. The last time he faced the A's was July 8, and Oakland won the game 2-1 in extra innings. Brandon Moss and Chris Carter have each done so well offensively that it seems the platoon is back. Since Moss is the left-handed hitter he draws the assignment of facing the right-handed Hernandez. Any little bit helps against the former Cy Young-award winner and author of Major League Baseball's most recent perfect game.
Moss is batting .387 with four homers and 10 RBI in his last nine games. Carter is batting .310 over his last 25 games and has homered four times in his last nine games as well. It seems like no matter who Melvin chooses, he looks smart. Top of the OrderSeth Smith has become one of the A's most important hitters. Since returning from the disabled list he is batting .317 (13 for 41) with 10 runs, four doubles, two homers, and six RBI. Check out the increase in Smith's batting average by month.
(Courtesy: Bloomberg Sports)Heart of the OrderLast week Josh Reddick was given the American League Player of the Week honors. He hit .387 (12-for-31) with three home runs, and 10 RBI. Since then he has slumped a little bit, going 2 for 18 over his last five games. It's hard to be down on a guy that is having such an extraordinary season for the usually offensively challenged A's. Bottom of the OrderCliff Pennington has the best track record against Hernandez. He is hitting .297 (11 for 37) in his career against him. Overall, Pennington is batting .250 since being reinstated from the disabled list. He has made each of his last 10 starts at second base and has looked good in his new role defensively. Stephen Drew is starting to get back into the swing of things after returning from a season-ending ankle injury in June. He is hitting .286 (4 for 14) in September and has started 14 of the A's last 15 games at shortstop. Seattle Mariners (67-71) lineup:Dustin Ackley, 2B
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Kyle Seager, 3B
John Jaso, C
Michael Saunders, LF
Justin Smoak, 1B
Eric Thames, RF
Luis Antonio Jimenez, DH
Brendan Ryan, SS
Starting PitchersA.J. Griffin (4-0, 2.26 ERA) takes the mound for Oakland. He will be opposed by Mariners' ace "King Felix" Hernandez (13-6, 2.51 ERA).

Instant Replay: Manaea hurt in A's 8-5 loss to Angels

Instant Replay: Manaea hurt in A's 8-5 loss to Angels

BOX SCORE

ANAHEIM – The A’s endured one of those nights Wednesday when the scoreboard couldn’t convey the extent of their blues.

The tone of an 8-5 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels was set early, when starting pitcher Sean Manaea left after two innings with what was announced as tightness in his throwing shoulder.

From there, things gradually unraveled as the A’s lost their third in a row and took on what looks to be another injury to a key player. The seriousness of Manaea’s injury wasn’t immediately known, but his early exit added to the recent run of medical misfortune, as center fielder Rajai Davis, shortstop Marcus Semien and starter Kendall Graveman have all hit the disabled list over the past 12 days.

Graveman will be activated Thursday and start against the Angels, but Manaea’s condition will loom large as the 25-year-old lefty is considered a foundation piece for the A’s, now and for the future.

The A’s trailed 4-3 in the seventh when the Angels pulled away with four runs off Ryan Dull. Matt Joyce’s two-run homer in the eighth pulled them closer but they lost for the second night in a row at Angel Stadium and will have to win Thursday night to avoid a sweep. Wednesday’s loss dropped them back below .500 at 10-11.

Starting pitching report:
It was obvious early that something was bothering Manaea. His fastball, which usually sits in the low 90’s and gets into the mid-90’s, was hovering in the 88-89 range. The A’s led 2-0 before the Angels struck for three runs in the second. Danny Espinosa and Martin Maldonado each delivered RBI doubles that landed just past the diving reach of right fielder Matt Joyce and center fielder Jaff Decker, respectively. Another run scored on Cameron Maybin’s single.

Bullpen report:
Frankie Montas gave up a run over 2 1/3 innings after being called into early duty when Manaea got hurt. Dull, trying to keep it a 4-3 game, did not have his command in the seventh. He threw a wild pitch, hit Danny Espinosa with a 1-2 pitch and then allowed Maybin’s two-run single that keyed Los Angeles’ four-run seventh.

At the plate:
It was a big night for Yonder Alonso, who had a two-run single in the first and then homered in the sixth to pull Oakland within 4-3. Alonso already has four homers, putting more than halfway to his 2016 total of seven in the season’s first month. The A’s struck out 13 times, giving them 24 strikeouts over the first two games of this series.

In the field:
It took until the seventh inning for the A’s to be charged with an error that snapped their streak of six consecutive errorless games. Stephen Vogt couldn’t hold on to Dull’s glove flip on Martin Maldonado’s squeeze bunt. But even before then, this wasn’t a sharp defensive effort. Joyce got caught off guard in the fourth when Maybin tagged up and made it to second on a fly to right. Joyce’s gesturing afterward seemed to suggest nobody was letting him now the runner was tagging. An inning later, Decker seemed stunned as the lumbering Albert Pujols went first to third on Andrelton Simmons’ single.

Attendance:
The announced crowd was 30,248.

Up next:
Kendall Graveman (2-0, 2.00) is set to come off the D.L. on Thursday and make his first start since April 14, when he was lost to a strained right shoulder. He’ll be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (1-2, 4.76), who took the Opening Night loss against the A’s at the Coliseum when he allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

 

Manaea exits A's game in Anaheim with left shoulder tightness

Manaea exits A's game in Anaheim with left shoulder tightness

ANAHEIM — A’s starter Sean Manaea left Wednesday night’s game after two innings with tightness in his throwing shoulder.

It’s a troubling sign for an Oakland rotation that’s already been hit hard by injuries.

The A’s are about to welcome back Kendall Graveman from his own shoulder issue — he’s scheduled to come off the disabled list and pitch Thursday night. Sonny Gray’s return from a lat injury could come next week if he emerges from Thursday’s Triple-A rehab start OK.

But if Manaea goes on the shelf for any period of time, it certainly cancels out a portion of that optimism. The 25-year-old lefty usually sits in the low to mid-90’s with his fastball. Throughout Wednesday’s start, his fastball was in the 88-89 mile-per-hour range, only registering as high as 90 a handful of times. Manaea gave up three runs in the second inning against the Angels. For the season, he’s 1-1 with a 5.18 ERA in five starts.

More information should be coming after the game. The A’s trailed the Angels 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth.