OAKLAND -- The A's have won five straight against the New York Yankees at the O.co Coliseum, dating to last season. If they want to make it six in a row, they'll have to do it without two-thirds of their outfield Wednesday night.
Neither left fielder Yoenis Cespedes nor center fielder Coco Crisp are in the starting lineup after both suffered lower body injuries in the A's 6-4 victory on Tuesday. Cespedes strained his left hamstring running down the base line on a ground out to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano in the first inning (Cespedes left the game in the top of the third) and Crisp hurt his right heel sometime between his lead-off home run and his second at-bat, in the third inning (Crisp, though, never came out of the game).
"It doesn't seem to be a substantial thing," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Cespedes' injury, "but whether or not it's a day or two, we're not sure yet."
The same goes for Crisp, who, Melvin said, feels the injury when he's walking, but not when he's running. Crisp felt it mostly Wednesday morning but took treatment and some batting practice in the indoor batting cages.
"When he starts responding, he gets healthy pretty quickly," Melvin said. "We won't take any chances with him."
Still, Melvin said both players could "potentially" be available to pinch hit. The flip side? Cespedes could "potentially" be sidelined the remainder of the series -- Thursday is a day game -- to allow him to heal.
"We always feel confident with whoever we run out there," Melvin said.
Melvin also said that right-handed reliever Jesse Chavez has been dealing with a pectoral issue.
"But he's good," Melvin said.
Chavez last appeared in a game on June 5, when he struck out two and gave up one hit in his inning against the Brewers.
Grant Balfour is perfect in save opportunities this year, going 16 for 16, and he has converted his last 34 in a row, dating to last season.
So what, then, if he's been getting taken to the wall on long drives of late, as evidenced by Travis Hafner's fly out to left-center to end Tuesday night's game.
"For me, an out's an out," Melvin said.
Sean Doolittle's 1-2-3 seventh inning Tuesday may have been clean, but it also might have acted as a balm for the lefty reliever's psyche after he gave up 10 runs in his previous five outings.
"Tonight was good," Doolittle said after the game. "Tonight was a good starting spot."
Doolittle said he would give his outing an "8" on a scale of 1 to 10.
"He's always trying to better himself," Melvin said. "I'm not sure if there was any particular reason (he was getting hit so hard before).
"He mixed in some off-speed, which will help the fastball. And his fastball had some life on it.