6/17/2013 8:02 P.M. ET
Melvin stresses urgency as A's face Rangers
By Master Tesfatsion / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Things have changed since the last time the Athletics and Rangers met, but Athletics manager Bob Melvin stressed the same message during this four-game stretch at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington -- play with urgency.
"It's always an important series, but you don't want to get too far ahead," Melvin said. "It's a long season, these things tend to flip back and forth quite a bit as you see last time we were here until now."
The Athletics are 22-7 over the last 29 games entering Monday's game. It's the best 29-game stretch in the Majors this year. Their starting pitching staff has a 2.58 ERA in that span with a .224 opposing batting average. They're batting .258 with 129 runs scored and 33 home runs with a three-game lead in the American League West. The Rangers have struggled in June losing six straight, and Josh Reddick doesn't want that to change.
"Our focus right now is keep them struggling," Reddick said."What better time to take advantage when they're three games behind us to go out here, possibly win two out of three and get them five or six games behind us leaving town?"
The Athletics' bullpen will be suited much better for this series due to Reddick and Bartolo Colon. Reddick helped minimize the damage with a shoestring catch in the second. Colon was able to stretch his start out to seven innings to help keep the bullpen fresh.
"You always want to have a bullpen going into a four-game series here that's fairly fresh," Melvin said. "We probably won't have a couple guys available today, but it would've been a lot more difficult had Reddick not made that play and had Bartolo not going seven innings."
A's hit the road after Coliseum sewage flood
ARLINGTON -- Athletics manager Bob Melvin said the team was fortunate the sewage flood in both clubhouses at O.co Coliseum on Sunday occurred at the end of a six-game homestand.
The Athletics and Mariners showered in the Raiders' locker room after the game as a result of backed up pipes during the game. The Athletics won't play in Oakland for another week when they start an eight-game homestand on June 25.
"We know Seattle well enough; we spent a trip with them in Japan last year," Melvin said. "Everyone was showering in the Raiders locker room. It was an inconvenience, but at the end of the day it's one day and we got on the road. Hopefully it's taken care of when we get home."
Josh Reddick went to watch video during the game when he found out the team couldn't shower in the clubhouse. He said the players weren't allowed near the bathroom area due to health concerns.
"They were vacuuming water off the carpet," Reddick said. "You couldn't even make it to the shower, unless you had the desire to walk in that. I don't think anybody did."
Jed Lowrie felt both teams made the best of the strange situation. He described the scene as a disgusting site.
"Hopefully they can get it cleaned before we get back," Lowrie said. "Hopefully there's no contamination or a potential health risk to the guys."
"It's been cleaned up and the damaged carpet will be replaced before the team returns," PR director Bob Rose confirmed.
O.co Coliseum was built in 1966, and the team's lease expires at the end of the season. It's been the club's only home since it moved to Oakland in '68.
"It could happen anywhere," Seth Smith said. "It was just a sewage backup. I don't think it was the age of the Coliseum. That happens in people's houses sometimes. I didn't think twice about it. It's just something that happens and nobody could control it."
Cespedes plays as DH for fourth straight game
ARLINGTON -- The Athletics hope to get Yoenis Cespedes back in the outfield soon. Athletics manager Bob Melvin wanted to put Cespedes in the outfield Monday, but he wants to see Cespedes run around before he makes the change. Melvin said the team had batting practice in the cages so Cespedes couldn't run around as much as he wanted.
Cespedes was the designated hitter for a fourth straight game. He left last Tuesday's contest against the Yankees because of left hamstring soreness. Melvin felt Cespedes looked fine scoring from second in the fifth inning Sunday.
"If you saw him run from second to home yesterday, it was a pretty good clip," Melvin said. "Hopefully he's that much further along today. If he can get in the outfield, then I can DH somebody else and use a little bit more of the roster."
Josh Reddick slid down to bat eighth in the lineup despite four hits Sunday. Melvin said it shows how deep the Athletics are offensively right now.
"Would it surprise me if Josh Reddick ended up at the top of the lineup somehow? Absolutely not," Melvin said. "After getting four hits, it's tough to be demoted in the lineup, but I think our guys know by now don't look too much in the lineup because it could change the next day."
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.