Melvin not ready to give closer job back to Johnson

Melvin not ready to give closer job back to Johnson
April 16, 2014, 7:00 pm
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Over his last three outings, Jim Johnson has yielded two hits, zero runs, one walk and struck out five. (AP)

ANAHEIM -- Jim Johnson came up big for the A’s in Tuesday’s victory, but Oakland’s closer situation remains a day-to-day proposition.

Manager Bob Melvin wasn’t ready to re-anoint Johnson as his ninth-inning man before Wednesday’s road trip finale against the Angels. It was unclear before the game if Johnson would even be available after throwing two innings and getting the victory in a 10-9 win over Los Angeles in 11 innings.

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But Melvin was impressed with what he saw from Johnson, who has endured his struggles since the season began but seems to be finding his form of late. He’s strung together three consecutive scoreless outings.

“Last night, he’s on the road. He’s pitching in a tie game one inning, pitching in a save situation the next,” Melvin said. “There’s no room for error, facing the middle of the lineup. He kinda showed what he was all about last night.”

As for who might close Wednesday, Luke Gregerson should be available after getting Tuesday off. Melvin could also come back with lefty Sean Doolittle, who gave up a game-tying homer to Mike Trout on Tuesday.

In other news, center fielder Coco Crisp remained out of the lineup for the third straight day as he rests a tight left hamstring. Melvin said he liked the idea of sitting Crisp again knowing he’d get the benefit of another full day off Thursday, when the A’s don’t play. Look for Crisp to potentially return in Friday’s opener of a three-game series against Houston.

“I don’t wanna push that, whether it’s his wrist or his hamstring,” Melvin said. “We need him for the full season.”

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