A's lineup -- Cespedes swinging fifth

April 6, 2012, 10:38 pm
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The Oakland Athletics begin meaningful baseball at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Friday with a third consecutive regular season game against the Seattle Mariners, the first two having been split in Japan.

Here is the lineup manager Bob Melvin has decided to go with for their home opener:

1. Weeks -- 2B
2. Crisp -- LF
3. Reddick -- RF
4. Gomes -- DH
5. Cespedes -- CF
6. Suzuki -- C
7. Donaldson -- 3B
8. Ka'aihue -- 1B
9. Pennington -- SS
McCarthy -- P

Climbing the ladder: While the A's expect Yoenis Cespedes to be a three- or four-hitter, Melvin has made it clear they intend on moving Cespedes around to keep off the pressure of producing from the heart of the lineup, especially while he adjusts to living in a new country.

From the looks of it, though, the A's are quickly elevating him to the heart of the order. After batting seventh in his first MLB game in Japan, the A's slid him up to sixth for Game 2.

Friday, he'll hit fifth after DH Jonny Gomes, protected by catcher Kurt Suzuki.

Healthy again: Cliff Pennington re-joins the starting lineup after missing the A's past two games. He was held out for precautionary reasons after leaving Oakland's Monday contest at AT&T with a tight groin.

Who's on first: The A's have a super-platoon at first base. While they wait for Daric Barton and his strained shoulder to come off the DL, they will rotate between Brandon Allen and Kila Ka'aihue, each left-handed bats.

Melvin noted during the Bay Bridge Series he thought Ka'aihue was handling left-handed pitchers better than Allen, and sure enough, it's Ka'aihue who gets the nod against Seattle's left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas.

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