A’s go for sweep, hope for help from Yankees

A win today would not only give the A’s a three-game sweep of Boston but a 7-2 record to finish their nine-game homestand. They’ve played well enough to pick up ground on first-place Texas, but the Yankees haven’t given them any help, blowing a ninth-inning lead last night and losing to the Rangers to keep the A’s 7 1/2 games out of first place.

Today’s lineups:

A’s — Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Ellis 2B, Hermida RF, Davis LF, Tolleson 3B, Pennington SS; Braden LHP.

Red Sox — Scutaro 2B, McDonald CF, Martinez C, Beltre 3B, Ortiz DH, Lowell 1B, Drew RF, Hall LF, Navarro SS; Beckett RHP.

I thought Landon Powell might get a start at catcher today given it’s a day game after a night game. Plus, Dallas Braden’s numbers are so good this season with Powell behind the plate. But A’s manager Bob Geren pointed out that Kurt Suzuki got a rest with Thursday’s off-day and wanted to keep him in there. “I use the backup catcher when I think the starting catcher needs a day off,” Geren said. “We’ve pretty much led baseball in ERA and Kurt has caught the majority of games. Both (Suzuki and Powell) have done a great job.”

–As you read in this morning’s paper, Rickey Henderson is with the A’s for this series against the Red Sox. But he’s spent much of this season bouncing around the A’s farm system as a baserunning instructor. He’s spent a lot of time working with Triple-A Sacramento utility man Corey Wimberly, who’s set a River Cats record with 56 stolen bases this season. Henderson also has been impressed with outfielder Jermaine Mitchell, 25, who is currently with Double-A Midland. “He’s lightning fast,” Henderson said.

–Josh Outman threw two 20-pitch simulated “innings” this morning. He and fellow pitcher Joey Devine will accompany the A’s to Kansas City, then head to Phoenix on Thursday to begin throwing in the fall instructional league.

That’s all for now …

Joe Stiglich