ANAHEIM -- Jemile Weeks is back in the lineup for the first time since being sent down to Triple-A on August 21. Don't read too much into it at this time. A's manager Bob Melvin stressed that getting Weeks a start was more a product of needed to get shortstop Stephen Drew a day to rest. Cliff Pennington slides back over to shortstop in Drew's place and Weeks is starting at second base."We like what we are seeing out of Pennington and Drew. Those are our starters at this point," Melvin said. "We aren't afraid to play some hot hands too and Weeks has been a big part of this team, I actually feel good I can get him a start." Weeks knows he has to stay humble and make the most of his limited opportunities at this point. He was the starting second baseman in 111 of the A's first 121 games this season. Since returning to the club on Monday he has been patiently waiting to get a shot. "It's great," Weeks said. "Just show I have confidence go out there and play the game I've been playing." Melvin likes to play the hot hand. Weeks will have to prove he can be that guy if he wants to get more playing time. He draws the tough task of having to prove it against Jered Weaver, the leader of the Angels' staff. "I wouldn't say it's tough I think the position I'm in you just have to go out there and whoever I am facing you have to face to the best of your ability," Weeks said. "Obviously he is a good pitcher, he's their ace. You have to go out and battle with him."Weeks is 4 for 17 with a home run and two walks in his career against Weaver. Maybe it's a good time to make an impression. Weaver is 16-4 with a 2.86 ERA but had his last start skipped because of shoulder tendinitis. Weeks hasn't started for the A's since August 20, but made an adjustment at the plate while in Triple-A. "Just like any other start it's a little different having a break but that's the role you are given, that's the role you play," Weeks said. Notes:-- Drew has started 20 of 21 games at shortstop since joining the A's. He is 4 for 27 over his last eight games so a day off might benefit him."He's been pretty durable since he's been with us and that was a pretty bad injury he had," Melvin said. "This is only the second day off I've given him since being here, so therefor he is off." -- Brandon Moss has been getting the bulk of playing time lately at first base. He has run with the opportunity. Moss has six homers in his last 13 games and has hit safely in his last six. Melvin noted that two lefties (Joe Saunders and Zach Britton) are coming up in the two days and that Chris Carter would be starting against them.
The A’s six-game road trip got off to a promising start Friday as they try to reverse their fortunes away from Oakland.
Jharel Cotton shined over five innings before leaving because of a blister on his right hand, and the bullpen took care of things from there to complete a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
Considering the A’s came in just 9-25 on the road so far, this was the rare occurrence of them taking control early and staying in control while wearing the road grays. Now the A’s just hope the victory didn’t come with a steep price.
In addition to Cotton (5-7) leaving after a blister opened up on his right thumb, shortstop Chad Pinder left with a strained left hamstring. The severity of that injury wasn’t immediately known.
Here’s five things you need to know from the opener of this three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field:
-- Davis hits No. 19: Khris Davis gave Cotton some early cushion with a two-run homer off Mike Pelfrey (3-6) to center field in the first. It was Davis’ team-leading 19th long ball, but just his third in 22 games this month.
-- Another solid outing for rookie: Coming off a strong 6 1/3-inning outing against the New York Yankees, Cotton again looked in control Friday before having to leave. The right-hander held the Sox to three hits over his five innings, striking out three and walking one. It’s unknown whether the blister will affect his availability for his next start, but the A’s learned with Rich Hill last season how nagging a blister can be for a starter.
-- Ninth-inning nerves: The final score didn’t indicate how tense things got for Oakland in the ninth. Closer Santiago Casilla gave up two singles to start the inning. After Avisail Garcia flied out, Todd Frazier hit a pop up behind first. Yonder Alonso couldn’t haul it in and the ball dropped, but Alonso alertly threw to second to get a force out. Then Matt Davidson sent a deep fly ball to center that Jaycob Brugman hauled in at the warning track.
--- Joyce powers up: In the fifth, Matt Joyce lit into a 3-2 pitch from Pelfrey and homered to center field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was the ninth homer for Joyce, who continues to provide some of the spark the A’s are looking for in the leadoff spot.
-- A double ejection: : White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria both were ejected for arguing a fifth-inning play after Anderson hit a dribbler near home plate that surprised him by being called fair.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Astros-A's coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.
The latest A's youth movement embarks on its first road trip when they visit the south side of Chicago and the White Sox. Manager Bob Melvin has issued his lineup for Game 1 of the series.
Chicago White Sox:
1. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
3. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Matt Davidson (R) DH
6. Tim Anderson (R) SS
7. Yolmer Sanchez (S) 2B
8. Kevan Smith (R) C
9. Adam Engel (R) CF
RHP -- Mike Pelfrey
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. Chad Pinder (R) SS
8. Bruce Maxwell (L) C
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
RHP -- Jharel Cotton