Billy Butler was out of the A’s lineup for a second consecutive day for the first time this season. Manager Bob Melvin said Butler is fine and Sunday’s decision reflects the matchup with Los Angeles Angels starter Garrett Richards.
Butler is 0 for 11 with five strikeouts against the Angels right-hander. So Butler sat, and Mark Canha took his place at designated hitter.
Though he did not start Saturday – so Melvin could use Stephen Vogt as the designated hitter – Butler came up in the seventh inning as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded. He struck out, but Melvin pointed out the A’s got him into “a leverage spot.” Melvin also said Butler will be back in the lineup Tuesday when the A’s begin a series at Texas.
A few other A’s starters had decent career numbers against Richards. Josh Reddick was 6 for 15 with three walks, Ben Zobrist was 3 for 6 with a home run, and Brett Lawrie was 3 for 9 with a double.
The full A’s lineup against Richards:
The Angels’ lineup against A’s left-hander Scott Kazmir:
▪ The A’s announced Sunday morning they claimed outfielder Jake Smolinski off waivers from the Rangers and optioned him to Triple-A Nashville. Smolinski batted .133 in 35 games for the Rangers before being designated for assignment Friday. The 26-year-old also played 12 games with Triple-A Round Rock this season and batted .422.