It’s a muggy afternoon in Minneapolis. The forecast calls for it to get up to 95 degrees, which feels hotter with the humidity. I’ve only been to this city between April and August, and I try picturing what it’s like in the dead of winter with snow everywhere. We’re experiencing the opposite extreme right now …
–Coco Crisp remains out of the A’s lineup, and he’s scheduled to see a doctor Monday to get his left shoulder examined. Something to keep in mind: Crisp had surgery on that shoulder in summer of 2009 (he also had the right one operated on around the same time), so there’s an injury history there. Josh Reddick gets another start in center field today, with Seth Smith in right and Jonny Gomes in left. Yoenis Cespedes would normally be filling in at center, but he remains at DH as he recovers from a sprained left thumb. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes’ readiness for the outfield will be determined after Monday’s day off. As I wrote yesterday, Collin Cowgill could also be an option in center when he’s ready to come off the DL, though there is no guarantee he’ll even join the big league roster when he’s activated.
–Gomes is batting second today, quite an unusual spot in the order for him. But the way the A’s are rolling right now, it sure seems like things have fallen into place no matter who is slotted where. Melvin pointed out that Twins lefty Brian Duensing has not allowed a stolen base all season, so having Gomes — not a huge base-stealer — hit high in the order isn’t a big issue to him. “Maybe it’s not a big running day for us,” Melvin said. “Maybe it’s a swing-the-bat day for us.”
Duensing has a 1-5 record but he’s holding lefties to a .182 average. No surprise, then, that Reddick and Smith are the only left-handed hitters in Oakland’s starting nine …
A’s — Weeks 2B, Gomes LF, Reddick CF, Cespedes DH, Carter 1B, Inge 3B, Norris C, Smith RF, Hicks SS; Parker RHP.
Twins — Revere CF, Mastroianni RF, Mauer 1B, Willingham LF, Morneau DH, Plouffe 3B, Doumit C, Dozier SS, Casilla 2B; Duensing LHP.