05/12/12 9:47 PM ET
Hand injury hindering Suzuki at plate
By Jeff Fletcher / Special to MLB.com
Before injuries to Yoenis Cespedes and Kila Ka'aihue on Saturday caused Melvin to shuffle the lineup and move Suzuki to seventh, he had his catcher batting ninth. Suzuki has not started a game in that spot since June 12, 2008.
"His hand is bothering him and I want to get him fewer at-bats," Melvin said. "He's had two back-of-the-hand things. He's had a bunch of thumb issues with sinkers. As a catcher you go through periods of the season like this.
"For the most part you are never fully healthy, but he's sucking it up there to get out and play. He's a gamer he doesn't want out of the lineup. He won't tell you this, but I know his hand is bothering him."
Suzuki came into the game hitting .174 (4-for-23) in his previous seven games. He was hit in the hand by a pitch just before this slump.
Melvin said it's possible he may need to give Suzuki a few days off in a row if his hand doesn't improve.
Reddick riding powerful wave at plate
OAKLAND -- While Brandon Inge's two grand slams this week have garnered much of the attention, Josh Reddick has also been sizzling. Reddick came into Saturday's game hitting .417 (10-for-24) with four homers and 10 RBIs in his previous six games.
Reddick is leading the A's with eight homers, putting him on a pace to hit around 40 for the season.
"We knew he had some power for a slight guy," Manager Bob Melvin said. "He extends and uses his lower half. The power was always there. I knew that talking to [hitting coach] Chili [Davis], who had him last year in Boston."
Reddick, the key player the A's got from the Red Sox in exchange for closer Andrew Bailey, has established himself as he A's No. 3 hitter, raising his average to .292.
"He's getting the opportunity to play every day and the confidence of us putting him in the No. 3 spot," Melvin said. "He doesn't get pinch-hit for against left-handers. I don't move him down in the lineup against left-handed starters.
"I think he's settling in to that spot and he's very comfortable."
Ka'aihue sits with hamstring injury
OAKLAND -- A's designated hitter Kila Ka'aihue was scratched from Saturday's lineup with an injury to his right hamstring, although the A's don't believe the injury is serious.
Assistant GM David Forst said Ka'aihue felt something in his leg while running the bases on Friday night. Ka'aihue was initially in the lineup on Saturday as the designated hitter, but he was scratched less than two hours before the first pitch.
He was being evaluated by doctors before Saturday's game.
"We don't think it's a long-term thing," Forst said.
The injury to Ka'aihue was one of the reasons the A's recalled third baseman Josh Donaldson, instead of an outfielder, when they put Yoenis Cespedes on the disabled list.
Jeff Fletcher is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.