OAKLAND -- One quirky stat about the A’s current six-game winning streak, in which they’ve outscored opponents 39-8: The streak has coincided exactly with Coco Crisp’s absence from the lineup with a neck strain.
"Well, I would feel fortunate," A’s manager Bob Melvin said. "I think we’re lucky to win some games with him out."
Even without their "catalyst" atop the lineup, the A’s are hitting on all cylinders as they wrap up a three-game series against the White Sox today before heading to Cleveland to start a nine-game road trip. Crisp is out again today, but Melvin said he could potentially be available off the bench in an emergency.
"I think after the off-day tomorrow, we may have a shot (for Crisp to play) in Cleveland," Melvin said.
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Crisp was out before the game standing in and seeing pitches in Scott Kazmir’s bullpen session. For now, John Jaso remains in the leadoff spot -- a move that’s working out well. Jaso is coming off consecutive three-hit games for the first time in his career and has his average up to .306. Here’s the full A’s lineup:
And the White Sox lineup against A’s left-hander Tommy Milone:
CF De Aza
* Why Jaso in the leadoff spot? Melvin pointed out that Jaso profiles as a high on-base guy, who’s pretty good at drawing walks. Pitchers are aware of that, and so might make a more concerted effort to be around the plate. Only right now, "when you throw the ball over the plate, he’s hitting it," Melvin said. "So a lot of (the A’s success) has had to do with him being able to handle that leadoff spot, being on base and getting big hits."
* Having Jaso at DH also allows Melvin to get both of his catchers into the lineup. At the moment, they’re two of the hottest hitters on the A’s, period. Norris has cooled off a little in this series, but is still batting .440 with 11 walks and 14 RBIs over his last 18 games.
* It’s another hot day at the Coliseum. Melvin said the park usually plays differently in day games anyway, but seeing the way the ball carried last night, you have to think that it’ll play much smaller than normal this afternoon.
That said, it’s incumbent on Tommy Milone to keep the ball down today, better anyway than he did two starts again in Boston, when he allowed three of his four homers on the season. Milone has been very good against the White Sox in two career starts -- he’s 1-0 and has allowed one run on seven hits with 12 strikeouts in 15 innings. He’s also coming off his best outing of the year -- eight shutout innings against the Washington Nationals.