Daric Barton returns to first base — can A’s offense rebound against King Felix?

The A’s are back to a more familiar lineup tonight, as Daric Barton returns to the No. 2 spot in the order and Rajai Davis moves back to the seventh slot. Chris Carter is hitting eighth, one spot lower than last night. Regardless of who hits where, the A’s need to find a way to get runners home from scoring position. It won’t be the easiest task tonight against Felix Hernandez. … Call this a “swing” game. If the A’s win, things suddenly look more promising and they’re in position to win the series. If they lose, it won’t matter what happens tomorrow, they’re going to be in bad shape rolling into a weekend series with a tough Minnesota team.

–Quick injury updates: Closer Andrew Bailey (rib cage strain) has felt very good throwing the past couple of days, though he still doesn’t know when he’ll throw off the mound. … Outfielder Conor Jackson (right hamstring) played five innings last night in the Arizona Rookie League and will DH tonight. He won’t come off the DL until he’s up to playing nine innings, but things seem to be progressing well. Where does he fit in when he returns, and what will that mean for Carter? We’ll find out …

–Ben Sheets had surgery yesterday on his right elbow, performed by Dallas-based doctor Keith Meister. Though manager Bob Geren didn’t have many details, it sounds like it was more involved than expected. In addition to fixing his flexor tendon, Sheets also had repairs done on his pronator tendon and ulnar collateral ligament, Geren said. We haven’t gotten specific information on what this means for Sheets’ timetable for recovery. As he said two weeks ago on a conference call, he’s unsure whether his elbow will recover enough to allow him to pitch again.

Tonight’s lineups …
A’s — Crisp CF, BArton 1B, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Kouzmanoff 3B, Ellis 2B, Davis RF, Carter LF, Pennington SS; Anderson LHP.

Mariners — Ichiro RF, Figgins 2B, Lopez DH, Gutierrez CF, Kotchman 1B, Moore C, Langerhans LF, Tuiasosopo 3B, Wilson SS; Hernandez RHP.

Joe Stiglich