Here’s the lowdown from the A’s pregame scene …
–Center fielder Coco Crisp (right calf strain) and first baseman Conor Jackson (sore back) are both sitting, though manager Bob Melvin thinks both should be ready for Tuesday’s series opener with Toronto. Jackson is confident he’ll play by then, saying he and the team are “erring on the side of caution.” Crisp, when asked about his calf, simply said “Perfect. Everything’s always perfect.” That’s Coco Talk for “I don’t want to discuss it.”
Shortstop Cliff Pennington is getting a day off too, and Melvin said he will probably give Pennington another day to rest in Toronto. It makes sense that the A’s are being cautious with him. Melvin cited the medication that Pennington is on for Bell’s palsy, and wanting him to get a chance to adjust to it.
That leaves the A’s with one fully healthy bench player — catcher Kurt Suzuki, who is being spelled by Landon Powell. The A’s have operated with a similarly thin corps on more than one occasion recently.
Ah yes, one more injury update: Reliever Craig Breslow has soreness just below his left shoulder, stemming from a recent weight lifting session. He was unavailable last night and likely today as well.
–As bad as this road trip began for the A’s, things would suddenly seem sunnier with a win today. Taking two out of three from Tampa would be a good way to go into Toronto for the final leg of this three-city trek.
A’s — Weeks 2B, Sogard SS, Matsui DH, Willingham LF, DeJesus RF, Sizemore 3B, Sweeney CF, Powell C, Rosales 1B; Cahill RHP.
Rays — Jennings LF, Damon DH, Longoria 3B, Zobrist 2B, Kotchman 1B, Upton CF, Joyce RF, Shoppach C, Rodriguez SS; Price LHP.