Cunningham feeling better, other tidbits

A few notes before tonight’s game…

Aaron Cunningham is feeling better today after getting hit on the helmet with a Anthony Swarzak curveball and suffering a concussion in the fourth inning of Monday’s game. He spent the night in a local hospital and had to be woken up every two hours. He said he remembers everything about the at-bat – what pitch it was, the count, what he was thinking before the pitch and seeing the ball come right at his head.

Cunningham is likely unavailable tonight and is officially day-to-day, A’s manager Bob Geren said. Cunningham said the plan is to be back in the lineup Wednesday, but will see how he feels.

With Cunningham out today and Daric Barton back in Oakland, the A’s recalled outfielder Chris Denorfia and optioned infielder Gregorio Petit to Sacramento. Denorfia gives the A’s a bit more depth in the outfield considering Ryan Sweeney’s injury and another right-handed bat. Denorfia was hitting .275 for the River Cats in 39 games with 14 RBI and eight stolen bases. Petit played in four games since he was called up May 30 and was 2-for-11 at the plate.

Barton is starting at first base tonight with Jason Giambi as the A’s DH and Jack Cust in right field. Geren wants to give Giambi a rest from playing first before interleague play begins this weekend. Barton is obviously happy to be back in Oakland to demonstrate that he’s a better hitter than he showed last season when he hit .226 in 140 games. He hit .245 in 55 games with Sacramento, but hit .279 in May and .345 in June.

Barton knew he didn’t much of a chance to make the A’s out of spring training considering the team added Giambi and Nomar Garciaparra. He doesn’t know how exactly he’ll be used for however long he’s up here, but he’s definitely looking forward to getting another opportunity.

The lineups:

A’s – Cabrera SS, Kennedy 2B, Cust RF, Holliday LF, Giambi DH, Suzuki C, Barton 1B, Hannahan 3B, Davis CF, Anderson P

Twins – Span CF, Tolbert 2B, Mauer C, Morneau 1B, Kubel DH, Crede 3B, Cuddyer RF, Harris SS, Young LF, Baker P.

Curtis Pashelka