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Yoenis Cespedes not in tonight’s lineup; Brandon McCarthy on track for Saturday start

There’s no real news to report on the A’s key injured players, and that’s good news for fans. Yoenis Cespedes was scheduled to hit in the batting cage after batting practice (we won’t have access to him again until after the game), and that session will help determine his availability for Friday’s game. Cespedes is not in tonight’s lineup. …

A’s – Weeks 2B, Pennington SS, Reddick CF, Gomes DH, Smith LF, Inge 3B, Ka’aihue 1B, Suzuki C, Taylor RF; Colon RHP.

Tigers – Jackson CF, Dirks LF, Cabrera 3B, Fielder 1B, Young DH, Avila C, Rayburn 2B, Boesch RF, Santiago SS; Scherzer RHP.

A’s manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes might be a pinch-running option tonight, but he’s hesitant to put him in as a defensive replacement because he’d have to take him out anyway if his spot in the order came up. Swinging the bat is the biggest problem for Cespedes, who has a strained muscle in his left hand.

As for right-hander Brandon McCarthy, he threw off the mound today and felt good, so he’s on track to make Saturday’s start as expected. McCarthy stresses that he isn’t really feeling pain in his right shoulder but compared it to “when you feel a tickle in your throat two hours before getting sick.” So the right-hander feels he’ll be fine to pitch Saturday, but added: “I think the next couple starts will be big to see if it is coming on.” This is an issue to keep an eye on, given McCarthy’s history of shoulder problems. He’s usually had at least one extended period per season where he’s been sidelined.

–Max Scherzer is 1-1 in two career starts against the A’s. Last year they got to him for five runs over five innings and hung a loss on him. In a 2010 outing, he struck out a career-high 14 against Oakland. There’s no A’s hitter with any history against Scherzer that’s noteworthy, positive or negative. … Bartolo Colon is 8-9 with a 5.25 ERA lifetime against Detroit, so this isn’t his favorite club to see. The hitter who’s done the most damage against him? Ramon Santiago, who is 11 for 20. Santiago is just a .247 career hitter overall. … Go figure

Joe Stiglich