A's lineup: Kottaras could be the secret weapon

September 16, 2012, 5:41 pm
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OAKLAND -- The A's look to sweep the Baltimore Orioles in their final meeting. Oakland has already won the season series with the Orioles, ensuring home-field advantage if they finish tied atop the Wild Card Standings. Here's Bob Melvin's lineup card.Oakland Athletics (84-61) lineupCollin Cowgill, LF
Jonny Gomes, DH
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, CF
Chris Carter, 1B
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Stephen Drew, SS
Adam Rosales, 2B
George Kottaras, C
Instant AnalysisYou normally won't see George Kottaras in the lineup against a left-handed pitcher but he is in for a good reason on Sunday. Kottaras used to be Randy Wolf's personal catcher with Milwaukee. He will likely be able to provide some key insights to his teammates about Wolf. Earlier this season when Kottaras faced Zack Greinke, another one of his former Milwaukee teammates, he took him deep.Coco Crisp was a late scratch. We'll have more on that shortly. Collin Cowgill is now starting in left field and leading off. As a result Jonny Gomes moves from left field to DH, and Yoenis Cespedes moves from DH to center field.
Top of the OrderJonny Gomes seems to be doing it all for the A's when given an opportunity to play. He is batting .352 with runners in scoring position this season. Heart of the OrderYoenis Cespedes has slowed down a bit in September but he is starting to find his power stroke and remains consistent with runners in scoring position. He is batting .354 with runners in scoring position which ranks eighth in the American League.Chris Carter has been used in a platoon role frequently but he is actually better against right-handed pitchers. Of his 14 homers, 10 have come against righties. His numbers against lefties are improving a bit though. (Courtesy: Bloomberg Sports)Bottom of the OrderKottaras has been a steady source of power for the A's since his acquisition. He has five homers and 17 RBI in 15 games with Oakland this season. Starting PitchersThe A's will go for the series sweep on Sunday. The Orioles announced their starter for Sunday shortly before Saturday's game. They have decided to go with lefty Randy Wolf (5-10, 5.69 ERA). It will be Wolf's first start for Baltimore, and his first since August 19 with Milwaukee. He will be the third lefty in a row the A's face. Dan Straily (2-0, 3.42 ERA) will be on the mound for the A's. It will be his fifth career start. The A's have won all four games started by Straily this season.

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