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Willingham gets a day off (maybe), plus other A’s pregame notes

Another good pitching matchup is on tap tonight as Trevor Cahill opposes the Chicago White Sox’s Edwin Jackson. Both sport sub-2.00 ERAs …

A’s left fielder Josh Willingham gets his first day off, or as manager Bob Geren called it, his first “non-start.” “They’ve got three good lefties in the bullpen,” Geren said of the Sox. “There may be a pinch-hitting opportunity.” Ryan Sweeney draws the start in left. …

Andy LaRoche makes his second straight start at shortstop, as Cliff Pennington is out of the lineup with an infected sweat gland under his left arm. Geren listed Pennington as day-to-day. You have to count LaRoche as a pleasant early-season surprise for the A’s. He’s held his own defensively all around the infield and he’s hitting .417.

The White Sox get a major boost tonight with the return of DH Adam Dunn, who had been out since undergoing an emergency appendectomy Wednesday. The Chicago media quoted Sox manager Ozzie Guillen as saying he would be extra cautious with Dunn, giving the slugger an extra day once he said he was ready. Apparently that plan went out the window. Dunn, who signed a four-year, $56 million deal with the Sox in the offseason, is hitting .286 with one homer and five RBIs.

Here’s a story on the injury to Texas left fielder Josh Hamilton, which has major implications for the rest of the AL West. The A’s begin play tonight tied for second place with the Angels, four games back of Texas …

The lineups:
A’s – Crisp CF, Barton 1B, DeJesus RF, Matsui DH, Suzuki C, Sweeney LF, Ellis 2B, Kouzmanoff 3B, LaRoche SS; Cahill RHP.

White Sox – Pierre LF, Vizquel 2B, Dunn DH, Konerko 1B, Quentin RF, Rios CF, Pierzynski C, Ramirez SS, Teahen 3B; Jackson RHP.