OAKLAND -- The Oakland Athletics have won 10 games in a row against the American League West. They have a chance to make it 11 on Wednesday by sweeping the Houston Astros.
The A's have been finding ways to win without some of their key offensive players in the lineup. Yoenis Cespedes is on the disabled list, Josh Reddick has missed time with a sprained right wrist, and Coco Crisp has missed some time with a left groin strain.
Crisp won't be in the lineup again on Wednesday, but it's for precautionary reasons. He played in each of the last two games and extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
"That was the plan when he came back," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We were going to play him two games, followed by the day off today and the off-day tomorrow."
Crisp served as the team's designated hitter on Tuesday night, but appeared to be moving around just fine when he hit a game-tying triple off the wall in right field.
Cespedes was walking around the clubhouse without his wrist wrapped, but he is still dealing with some swelling with the strained muscle in his left hand. He suffered the injury on Saturday. Melvin says that Cespedes has been running and doing some throwing, but he isn't ready to hit in the cage yet.
The A's depth has kept the A's lineup going without some of the key outfield components. Outfielders Seth Smith and Chris Young both give the A's above average options. Smith is hitting .424 in 11 games this season and is playing his way into the daily lineup. The left-handed hitter is usually used in a platoon role, but he is 6 for 9 with a home run against left-handed pitchers this season.
"That's where he was going to be limited, at-bats against left handers," Melvin said. "With Yoenis (Cespedes) out and the fact that he's been swinging well against lefties, I'm leaving him in there and he's been productive."
A's outfielders accounted for three of the team's four stolen bases on Tuesday. Young swiped two of the bags. He got a monster jump on his first stolen base of the game against Astros starting pitcher Brad Peacock. First base coach Tye Waller and Crisp spend time before each game scouting opposing pitchers to look for tendencies that could lead to big jumps.
Young and Crisp can often be seen conversing in the clubhouse and sharing tips.
"We have quite a few guys that can steal bases and if the opportunity is there we'll do it," Melvin said.
The A's offense was struggling on Tuesday, but the stolen bases led to their first run of the game. Young stole first, Reddick walked, Young and Reddick executed a double steal, and Young scored on a wild pitch. The speed game is one of the many facets of the A's well-rounded offense.
-- As reported here on Tuesday, Adam Rosales will be starting for the Class-A advanced Stockton Ports against the San Jose Giants. It will be his first game action since straining his left intercostal muscle.
"This spring was really the first spring he was really healthy," Melvin said. "It's really too bad that he did get injured."
Rosales can play every infield position and is out of options. It is likely that he will play three games with the Ports before getting some games with the Sacramento River Cats. When he is deemed ready, he should be taking someone's spot on the A's roster.
-- The Cal Women's Basketball team will be on hand to throw out the first pitch at the Oakland Coliseum. Cal made a run this season that saw them end up in the Final Four. Melvin, who attended Cal, was keeping an eye on their progress.