In for John Hickey …
Quiet pregame at Minute Maid Park. Jed Lowrie, slowly but surely, is working his way back to playing again. He was back on the field taking batting practice and infield for the first time because he can finally get a cleat on his right foot, which was plunked by a Yu Darvish pitch on Tuesday. Lowrie said he could possibly pinch-hit in an emergency, and manager Bob Melvin said he could possibly start Sunday.
Josh Reddick took a full early round of BP and his right wrist came out of it well. He’ll hit in the cage Sunday, and barring a setback, will report to Class A Stockton on Monday to begin what he hopes is a short rehab assignment. He’ll shift to Triple-A Sacramento Tuesday and is targeting next Friday against Chicago at home for his return to the A’s.
Some miscellaneous numbers:
–Grant Balfour converted his 28th consecutive save Friday night, but he’s still well short of the club mark held by Dennis Eckersley at 40. One more save will put him in the A’s all-time top 10 for saves at 37, tied with Bill Caudill.
–The A’s are now 18-8 against the A.L. West, 8-15 against everybody else. Go figure. Another goofy disparity: A’S ARE 20-12 in night games, 6-11 during the day.
–Oakland has not made an error in seven games, their longest streak since Sept. 2009.
–The A’s lead the majors in walks with 200 and the American League in hit-by-pitches with 23.
–The A’s are not only 7-0 this year against the Astros, they’re 12-1 all-time. Their only loss was a 5-4 interleague defeat in 2007. This year’s mark is rather remarkable in that Yoenis Cespedes got his first hit of the year against the Astros Friday (an RBI single) and is 1-for-16 this year against Houston (.063).
Keep up-to-date during the game on Twitter @stewardsfolly