A's lineup: Reddick in, Crisp out

July 29, 2012, 4:52 pm
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The Oakland A's are looking to cap their road trip with a series sweep against the Baltimore Orioles. With their win on Saturday the A's reached 10 games over .500, have won nine of their last 10, and are just 3.5 games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West. In case they don't catch Texas, the A's are in sole possession of first place for the A.L. Wild Card. Oakland Athletics 55-45 lineupJemile Weeks, 2B
Jonny Gomes, DH
Josh Reddick, RF
Yoenis Cespedes, CF
Chris Carter, 1B
Brandon Inge, 3B
Derek Norris, C
Seth Smith, LF
Brandon Hicks, SS
Instant AnalysisGood news and bad news. Josh Reddick is back in the lineup in right field, but Coco Crisp is out with left hamstring tightness. That shifts Yoenis Cespedes to his natural outfield position of center field and Seth Smith over to left field. The A's are again facing a left-handed pitcher -- they have faced five in their last six games. Top of the OrderJemile Weeks moves back up to the leadoff spot with Crisp out of the lineup. Weeks got his first three-hit game of 2012 on Saturday. He recorded three hits on 13 different occasions in his rookie season -- even collecting four hits in a game once. Maybe moving back into the leadoff spot, even if only temporary, will spark him. The A's offense is rolling but the middle infield spots have been rather unproductive. Weeks possesses the skills to be very effective at the plate, he just hasn't broken out yet in his sophomore season. If he can get rolling this offense could be dynamic. Heart of the OrderReddick vs. R.F. Wall - II: The Reddick-tribtion. Reddick is back in his customary spot in the lineup and in the outfield, after a scary collision with the right field wall on Friday night. After being handed a Spiderman suit on Saturday the energetic outfielder might be better served climbing the wall rather than plowing into it full speed. Reddick is a key component to the A's in all facets of the game. Losing him could be a catastrophic blow. Yoenis Cespedes continues to be a one-man wrecking crew. Since the All-Star Break he is batting .439 with five homers, 17 RBIs, four doubles, one triple and two stolen bases. He also made a crazy ranging catch in center field last night. Cespedes has missed 32 games this year and he still leads the A's with 53 RBIs. Bottom of the OrderDerek Norris is starting at catcher again. This season he has struggled against offspeed pitches and breaking pitches -- a common problem for rookies. Here's his breakdown by pitch (AVGpercent seen): Fastball: .26353.36, Breaking Ball: .09536.68, Changeup: .1437.96. He'll have to make adjustments as the league takes notice and starts feeding him a steady diet of pitches with movement. Starting PitchersThe A's will go for the sweep in Baltimore with Travis Blackley (3-2, 2.69 ERA) on the mound. The Australian-born lefty is 3-0 in his last seven starts. They will be opposed by the sixth left-handed pitcher in their last seven games -- Wei-Yin Chen (8-6, 3.82 ERA). Chen has lost one game in his last three starts.

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