The roof is closed at Chase Field for today’s series finale, which makes it feel like the A’s and Diamondbacks are playing baseball in a giant Costco (I always use that comparison in these retractable roof stadiums, but it’s true! There’s something about the roof and the lighting that makes me think Costco).
–Several A’s regulars have the day off — Kurt Suzuki, Coco Crisp, Brandon Moss, Seth Smith. And Yoenis Cespedes is out of the lineup for the third straight game with his hamstring injury. The situation is the same as Saturday — if Cespedes felt good after batting practice, Bob Melvin was going to consider using him as a pinch hitter. But Melvin has something to think about here: It’s tempting to get Cespedes’ bat in the game in a crucial situation, but if he hits a ball in the gap, the A’s don’t want him pushing his hamstring too hard in a full sprint. “Your instincts take over when you hit a ball,” Melvin said. “That’s what I think you have to deal with more than anything.”
A’s — Weeks 2B, Cowgill CF, Reddick RF, Gomes LF, Inge 3B, Pennington SS, Donaldson C, Rosales 1B, Blackley LHP.
D’backs — Roberts 3B, Young CF, Upton RF, Goldschmidt 1B, Kubel LF, Hill 2B, McDonald SS, Blanco C, Saunders LHP.
–It’s no wonder Collin Cowgill finds himself in there against lefty Joe Saunders. Cowgill began the season 0 for 10 against left-handers, but he’s 9 for his last 12 against southpaws. That’s a daily decision Melvin will continue to face: Finding playing time for Cowgill while also trying to let Crisp find his rhythm at the plate.
–Just a few games ago, Cliff Pennington couldn’t buy a hit. Now the shortstop is 8 for 18 with four doubles over his past five games. He was in a 3 for 41 slump before that …
Enjoy the game folks …