Can the A’s turn the tide tonight after dropping two straight against the Yankees? A big key will be whether left-hander Brett Anderson can contain Yanks No. 3 hitter Mark Teixeira, who’s 5-for-6 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs in the series. Might the A’s have more success against the switch-hitting Teixeira when he’s batting from the right side? Perhaps … Strangely enough, the lefty Anderson is holding right-handed hitters to a .242 average, while lefties are hitting .338 against him.
–The A’s go with the same batting order as the past two nights. That includes Kurt Suzuki in the No. 3 hole. Suzuki batted .185 in August (17-for-92), the lowest single-month average of his major league career. But as manager Bob Geren pointed out — and this is a fundamental flaw with this team right now — there’s no logical replacement to plug into the third spot in Suzuki’s place. Just like there’s not another hitter who seems like a good replacement for Jack Cust in the cleanup spot. The A’s are trying to make things work with a misplaced cast in the heart of their order, and it’s making it tough for them to play catch-up when the starting pitchers struggle and the team falls behind early.
–Relievers Ross Wolf and Justin James were called up from Triple-A Sacramento, the only additions the A’s made on the first day rosters could expand to 40. Pretty cool story with James, who was drafted in 2003 but is just now making his major league debut at age 28. He spent all of 2009 and part of this season in independent ball. …
A’s — Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Cust DH, Kouzmanoff 3B, Ellis 2B, Larish LF, Davis RF, Pennington SS; Anderson LHP.
Yankees — Jeter SS, Swisher RF, Teixeira 1B, Cano 2B, Thames DH, Kearns LF, Granderson CF, Nunez 3B, Cervelli C; Burnett RHP.