07/29/12 1:40 PM ET
Pennington takes step toward return
By Greg Luca / MLB.com
Manager Bob Melvin said the team would have a better idea on Pennington's status "once we get our eyes on him tomorrow."
In the meantime, the A's will continue using a rotation of Brandon Hicks, who started and batted ninth on Sunday, and Eric Sogard.
"We'll hold down the fort, definitely," Melvin said.
Hicks is 4-for-17 with a home run since Pennington went out, and Melvin praised his power and "ability to run into one from time to time."
Sogard is 4-for-13 since Pennington's injury, including an RBI single in the fifth inning of Saturday's win.
Still, neither Hicks, Pennington nor Sogard has an average better than .200, and Oakland's .192 average and .542 OPS from the shortstop position are both worst in the Majors.
"You're not always going to have production from nine spots in the lineup," Melvin said. "Not everybody is going to be hot at the same time. So they're doing their job defensively, and they're mixing in some hits and driving in a run from time to time. It's contributed."
Crisp gets day off; Weeks leads off
BALTIMORE -- Coco Crisp was given the day off on Sunday to rest a tight left hamstring that forced him to leave Saturday's game prior to the bottom of the eighth inning.
Manager Bob Melvin said Saturday that Crisp was day to day, and the team decided to withhold him from all activity on Sunday, including batting practice and fielding drills.
"We want to give him the day off and then see how he is tomorrow," Melvin said.
Yoenis Cespedes took Crisp's place in center field, while Seth Smith was plugged in to play left.
Crisp, a .253 hitter with 20 stolen bases, had started 10 of Oakland's 14 second-half games at the leadoff spot.
Second baseman Jemile Weeks got the call in the other four and was moved up to the top of the order again on Sunday.
Although he is hitting just .221, Weeks notched three hits for the first time since Sept. 24 in Oakland's win on Saturday.
A's manager Bob Melvin said he has "felt good" about Weeks' at-bats the last couple of days, praising the second baseman for "cutting down on the swing a little bit" and hitting balls the other way.
As Oakland's offense rounds into form after a slow start to 2012, Melvin hopes Weeks can be a part of the turnaround.
"Boy, would it be terrific if we got him going here," Melvin said. "That would just be another facet to our offense that could potentially contribute in other ways. Right now it's more the power game we're playing, but if we got Coco and [Weeks] going at the same time and on the bases creating a little bit more havoc and taking the attention off the hitter for guys on the bases and so forth, that would be terrific."
Even when Weeks isn't producing and getting on the basepaths, Melvin said he values the second baseman's ability to see pitches and work the count.
Weeks entered Sunday with an average of 4.04 pitches per plate appearance, the second-best mark on the team and better than the Major League average of 3.82.
Greg Luca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.