Rajai returns to center field for A’s

Another pretty pleasant night at Safeco Field leading up to Game 2 of this series …

The A’s are likely to have a special guest in the dugout for the second straight night — third baseman Eric Chavez, who’s on the mend from June 23 back surgery that he hopes will have him ready for the start of the 2010 season. Chavez’s wife, Alex, is from the Seattle area. He wasn’t in the clubhouse during the media access period earlier this afternoon, and though he was in the dugout for last night’s game, he wasn’t around the clubhouse afterward. I haven’t talked to him personally, but manager Bob Geren said Chavez looked good, was in good spirits and is eyeing a return to baseball activity in January, if not sooner. Next season will be the last of his six-year, $66 million deal.

No news was good news for the A’s on the Rajai Davis front. He’s back in center field tonight and hitting second, so apparently he’ll be able to play despite a fracture in the tip of his right thumb. Davis was able to swing the bat yesterday — the issue was throwing. But his thumb passed the throwing test this afternoon. “I was able to throw effectively and pretty accurate, compared to yesterday,” Davis said. He’s never hurt his thumb before, but in Triple-A he did have an injury to his right middle finger that kept him out a couple of weeks. I’d expect him to get an occasional day off to make sure he completely heals.

The upshot of it all: No transaction made by the A’s, and no extra position player brought up. So Geren still has just three non-pitchers on his bench.

Dallas Braden isn’t with the team in Seattle as he stayed back in Stockton to get physical therapy on his infected left ankle. But Geren said there’s a chance he might join the team in Anaheim for the upcoming four-game series there.

Without further delay, your lineups. With lefty Brett Anderson pitching, Ken Griffey Jr. is not in Seattle’s lineup tonight, but Mike Sweeney is …

Kennedy 3B
Davis CF
Suzuki C
Hairston LF
Cust DH
Nomar 1B
Ellis 2B
Sweeney RF
Pennington SS

Anderson LHP


Gutierrez CF
Hannahan 3B
Lopez 2B
Sweeney DH
Hall RF
Branyan 1B
Johjima C
Wilson SS
Saunders LF

Rowland-Smith LHP

Joe Stiglich