Tyson Ross tries to give A’s a boost on mound

I remember Tyson Ross making his first major league start at Angels Stadium. That was May 2010, and Ross was a rookie who had impressed out of the bullpen. He was pulled after 3 2/3 innings that night, gave up three runs and took the loss, though that was a 12-3 blowout that couldn’t be pinned solely on him. … Now Ross will take the ball again for tonight’s start at Angel Stadium. He’s had substantial big league experience since that starting debut, but he’s still trying to prove he deserves to stick in the big league rotation.

The A’s could sure use a strong effort from him. And giving Ross some early run support could be a huge lift for the right-hander. Manager Bob Melvin is sticking with a pretty standard lineup in trying to accomplish that …

A’s: Weeks 2B, Crisp LF, Reddick RF, Cespedes CF, Smith DH, Suzuki C, Barton 1B, Donaldson 3B, Pennington SS; Ross RHP.

Angels: Aybar SS, Kendrick 2B, Pujols 1B, Morales DH, Hunter RF, Wells LF, Callaspo 3B, Iannetta C, Bourjos CF; Haren RHP.

–Melvin said Neil Wagner, called up to replace Andrew Carignan in the bullpen, will serve primarily as a long reliever. I asked Melvin about how little Fautino De Los Santos has been used so far. He’s appeared in just two of the first 11 games. Melvin said Carignan had moved ahead of him on the bullpen totem pole. With Carignan sent down, De Los Santos might take on a little more prominent role. But I’d still rank it as a mild surprise that De Los Santos has been used so sparingly, though his wildness in spring training probably has contributed to that. At any rate, De Los Santos looked good in his two appearances so far. So maybe we’ll see him a little bit more in close games.

First and foremost, the A’s have to start hitting better, or it won’t matter who is coming in from the bullpen late in games …

Joe Stiglich