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06/23/09 1:46 AM ET

'Sore' Giambi likely to return as DH

Oakland (31-38) vs. San Francisco (37-32), 7:05 p.m. PT

OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Geren said he didn't start Jason Giambi on Monday night because the 38-year-old first baseman/designated hitter's "body is a little sore."

The natural question that followed: What part of his body?

Geren's comedic response: "Uh huh. ... Yes."

In other words, Giambi's entire body is sore, the result of Oakland's nine-game trip through National League ballparks, where Geren didn't have the luxury of using Giambi at DH.

"He gave me everything he could in those games," Geren said of Giambi, who went 4-for-28 (.143) on the trip to drop his batting average for June to .172 (10-for-58).

Jack Cust was the DH on Monday, but Giambi is expected to be there Tuesday for the second game of a three-game Interleague series against the visiting Giants at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Geren said Giambi prefers to play first base and suggested that Giambi is a better hitter when he's playing defense. That hasn't been the case this season, however. Giambi through Sunday was batting .207 for the season, .197 as a first baseman.

With Cust at DH, the A's were down to three outfielders Monday -- starters Matt Holliday, Rajai Davis and Ryan Sweeney. Were a fourth needed, Geren said, starting second baseman Adam Kennedy likely would have moved into the outfield, with third baseman Jack Hannahan moving to second, first baseman Bobby Crosby moving to third and Daric Barton taking over at first.

With Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum starting Tuesday, Cust, a left-handed hitter, likely will start in the outfield.

Pitching matchup
OAK: RHP Vin Mazzaro (2-1, 1.75 ERA)
Mazzaro, 22, gave up two runs on five hits over six innings of a no-decision last Thursday at Dodger Stadium. It was his fourth career start, which looked a lot like the first three; he worked quickly and didn't hesitate to challenge hitters. Mazzaro, called up from Triple-A Sacramento on June 2, suffered his only loss against the Giants, who nicked him for three runs on six hits and a walk over six innings. Left-handed hitters are batting .156 against Mazzaro, who opened his big league career with 17 2/3 scoreless innings.

SF: RHP Tim Lincecum (6-2, 2.72 ERA)
Lincecum was at or near his best through seven innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Wednesday. In the eighth, however, he yielded three runs and ended up with his first loss since April 12. Lincecum struck out nine Angels and has whiffed at least seven in 11 of his 14 starts this season. During his campaign for the National League Cy Young Award last season, he threw seven shutout innings and got the win in his only start against the Oakland Athletics.

Dribblers ...
Outfielder Travis Buck, sent to Triple-A Sacramento for a rehab stint and ordered to stay with the River Cats after being activated from the big league DL, has hit safely in all 11 games he's played on the farm. He's batting .405 (15-for-37) with a home run, five RBIs and 11 runs scored. ... Geren didn't have any particular theory as to why Holliday has been struggling for the past couple of weeks, but he noted that Holliday often stays late after games to do extra hitting in the cage. In his past 14 games entering the Giants series, Holliday was 9-for-50 (.180) with zero home runs and two RBIs. ... Sacramento first baseman Tommy Everidge went 2-for-4 with a homer Sunday and is batting .333 in 12 games since being promoted from Double-A Midland. ... Odd sight of the night: A's broadcaster Ray Fosse sitting alongside Giants talking heads Jon Miller and Mike Krukow in the TV booth. They shared the game-calling duties on NBC Bay Area, which had exclusive rights to the contest.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Athletics (Gio Gonzalez, 0-0, 7.27) vs. Giants (Randy Johnson, 6-5, 5.00), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Athletics (Brett Anderson, 3-7, 5.74) vs. Rockies (Jason Hammel, 4-3, 4.41), 7:05 p.m. PT

Mychael Urban is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.