Slow day is good day at the Coliseum

It’s late August, the A’s are a half-game back of first place in the American League West and yet there really isn’t a ton to report before tonight’s second game of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners. That’s probably not a bad thing. The A’s seem to be a relaxed and confident team with the September stretch drive around the corner.

Of course, after the game the A’s hope to be talking about another strong Sonny Gray start and a return to first place.

There were a couple small notes from manager Bob Melvin’s pregame session:

– Coco Crisp is out of the lineup tonight with the left-hander Joe Saunders pitching for the Mariners. Crisp has a left wrist injury that kept him out of the starting lineup for seven games until he returned Monday. But the injury bothers him much more while batting right-handed.

“He’s available off the bench today and will start again tomorrow and hopefully after the off day (Thursday), we’ll be past this,” Melvin said.

– Brett Anderson is scheduled to throw 65 pitches in a minor league rehabilitation start Thursday and could be ready to be activated if he comes out of that healthy, but no decision will be made until they see how he responds.

– Jed Lowrie is the designated hitter tonight to get a little extra rest. It’s the third time in the past six games that he’s served as the DH. Alberto Callaspo plays second base and Eric Sogard is at shortstop.

“Based on his work load this year, it’s probably a prudent thing to do,” Melvin said. “We’re able to do that with Callaspo here.”

Jimmy Durkin

Jimmy Durkin is a sports writer for the Bay Area News Group.