ANAHEIM -- A previously depleted A's bench gained in number for Monday's three-game series opener in Anaheim, but Brandon Inge remained one of the few sidelined, as he continues to battle right groin tightness.Kila Ka'aihue, who had been held out of the lineup for two straight days because of a tight right hamstring, again did not start but was feeling better and was expected to potentially be available in a pinch-hit situation on Monday. Inge, however, wasn't expected to be. In fact, manager Bob Melvin didn't sound overly optimistic when speaking of the third baseman, who landed on the disabled list with a groin injury -- on the opposite side -- at the beginning of the season in Detroit. "I'm a little leery of trying to have him go out there, the way he plays the game," Melvin said. "He's max effort, all-out all the time. That's the thing I worry about. Getting out of the box, if you tweak that thing again, now you're looking at the DL. We want to get him to a point where he feels like he's ready to play and then give him one more day. "We'll know more later, but I talked to him some, too, and he really wants to see how he feels swinging and being out on the field, as far as taking ground balls and so forth. He'll do a little more than yesterday, but you have to be careful with that." Inge's absence follows an eye-popping week that saw the veteran tally four four-RBI games with four home runs -- two of them grand slams -- in a five-day span. In his stead, Josh Donaldson is gaining more time at third and, upon Inge's return, could potentially become a right-handed option at first base, Melvin said.
Crisp edging toward returning to A's lineup
ANAHEIM -- An ailing Coco Crisp appears to be taking the first steps toward a return, as the A's outfielder began taking an extended round of swings in the inside cages Monday.Crisp, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with an inner ear infection on May 4, retroactive to the day prior, is scheduled to start running again on Tuesday. However, it's still unclear whether the veteran will be reinstated when he's eligible on Friday. "You can take all the swings you want," manager Bob Melvin said, "but part of his game is running, obviously, so we want to get him back on the field, and I think the big test will be once he starts running and exerting himself in the fashion he would regularly, and then seeing how he feels. That's what kept bringing him down. Endurance is going to be important." Melvin is not ready to say whether Crisp will need a rehab stint in the Minors, noting that the outfielder has a say in that decision, too. Crisp has played in just half of the club's games this season -- 18 of 36 -- and was batting .194 at the time he went on the DL.
Weeks, Suzuki return to action
ANAHEIM -- A pair of mainstay faces returned to the A's lineup on Monday, just in time for the start of a four-game swing through American League West rivals Los Angeles of Anaheim and Texas.The A's were without second baseman Jemile Weeks -- who has seven hits in his past 18 at-bats -- and catcher Kurt Suzuki in Sunday's loss to Detroit, but both started against the Angels' Dan Haren on Monday. Weeks singled in each of his first two at-bats on Saturday night before departing in the fourth inning with a sprained left ankle, while Suzuki simply garnered rest on Sunday while continuing to nurse a banged-up left hand. The catcher's thumb has especially been of concern, as it's taken a beating in recent days. But Suzuki, whose 544 starts behind the plate since 2008 are the most among Major League catchers, is naturally not a fan of sitting on the bench, so Melvin is simply being cautious with his backstop, particularly during a 16-game stretch without an off-day for his club.