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Jemile Weeks, Kurt Suzuki return to lineup as A’s begin one strange road trip

There’s pretty good news on the injury front for the A’s, and really, all talk regarding this team right now has to begin with health, right? After seeing a wave of guys lost to injury on the last homestand – some more serious than others – the A’s have a couple back tonight. Jemile Weeks’ sprained left ankle is doing better and he’s in the leadoff spot at second base. Kurt Suzuki said his left hand feels a little better – he’s behind the plate to catch Tyson Ross. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Suzuki’s thumb is actually what he’s more concerned with right now. Suzuki has taken a couple foul tips off the thumb, but apparently it’s feeling well enough for him to play.

The lineups:
A’s – Weeks 2B, Pennington SS, Reddick RF, Gomes DH, Smith LF, Donaldson 3B, Barton 1B, Suzuki C, Cowgill CF; Ross RHP.

Angels – Trout CF, Izturis 2B, Pujols 1B, Morales DH, Trumbo RF, Callaspo 3B, Wells LF, Aybar SS, Wilson C; Haren RHP.

Third baseman Brandon Inge (groin injury) and first baseman Kila Ka’aihue (right hamstring) remain out. Melvin says Ka’aihue could probably play tonight, but they want to give him an extra day as a precaution. The A’s will be extra cautious with Inge. He spent time on the DL with Detroit earlier this season with a groin injury, but he told me that problem was more on the left side. This one is on the right. At any rate, Melvin said Inge’s all-out style of play makes him susceptible to aggravating it. “He’s max effort all the time, that’s what I worry about,” Melvin said. “That groin, if he tweaks that thing again, now we’re looking at the DL.”

This is an odd seven-game road trip – two against the Angels, two at Texas, and then three just across the Bay Bridge against the Giants. It’s an important stretch though, as the A’s see the division-leading Rangers for the first time. Coming away with a split in these first four against the Angels and Rangers would be a success going into the Giants series. As I write that, Josh Reddick just homered off Dan Haren in the top of the first.

Time for me to get a move on. Enjoy the game …

Joe Stiglich