5/17/2014 11:23 P.M. ET
Melvin keeps confidence in Sogard
By Stephen Ellsesser / Special to MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Eric Sogard is out of the lineup a day after going hitless in Oakland's series-opening offensive romp.
Utilizing the Athletics' many platoons, manager Bob Melvin makes his decisions based on matchups, and he has not lost faith in Sogard.
"He's struggling a little bit," Melvin said of Sogard. "It's not like he's striking out a lot. He's still putting the ball in play, at times hard. It's just he doesn't have a lot to show for it."
Friday, Sogard was the only A's starter not to reach base, and his groundout to second base was the only out recorded by Indians starter Zach McAllister in Oakland's eight-run second inning.
Going 0-for-4 Friday dropped Sogard's season average to .172, and he has not gotten a hit since his May 9 single against Wasington.
Facing righty Josh Tomlin on Saturday, Melvin wanted switch-hitter Nick Punto in the lineup.
"I do like to get Nick in there from time to time when we go through stretches of not seeing left-handed pitching," Melvin said. "My guess is that Sogey will be right back in there tomorrow."
Rodriguez feeling fine in return from elbow surgery
CLEVELAND -- For Fernando Rodriguez, his successful return from Tommy John surgery is definitely a journey and not a destination.
Rodriguez notched two innings of scoreless relief in Friday's win, walking one and striking out two. It was the second time Rodriguez had pitched since his callup on May 9, and it was something else to push him forward.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin said the A's might try to use Rodriguez on Sunday in the series finale, and Rodriguez's longest outing since before missing the 2013 season in recovery had no ill effects the day after.
"I feel pretty good today," Rodriguez said. "I thought I was going to be more sore or tired or even cranky when I woke up, but I guess my body, the more I throw, the more it reacts to the next day of actually being ready."
Being healthy is one thing, but the burly righty seems to have done more than recover during his season away from baseball.
"For whatever reason, it looks like he's got more plane to his pitches," Melvin said. "It's not like he's grown, but it seems like he's hitting the bottom of the zone. As tall as he is, the ball doesn't stay in the zone very long.
"On top of that, it's mid-90s, throwing a little bit of a cutter now to go along with a curveball and a changeup, so he's got the repertoire to do it, but he's also got the quality fastball that he can get by with when he's behind in the count."
For Rodriguez, the work continues to change, which is a reflection of him achieving his goals. Initially, he wanted to get healthy, then he wanted another shot to get back to the Majors.
When Oakland called him up from Triple-A Sacramento on May 9, Rodriguez got right to work, throwing a scoreless inning. The A's don't plan to pitch Rodriguez on consecutive days just yet, so he still has other goals on the horizon.
"Now we're not just thinking, 'bring me back.' We're making sure I am ready for those 160-some games we have to play," Rodriguez said. "In the weight room, I was doing three sets of everything, and now it's two because I have to be ready to pitch."
Moss keeps up strong production at plate
CLEVELAND -- Brandon Moss continues to make the most of his opportunities.
Moss is the head of the platoon at first base, but he plays and leads like a guy who could, and probably should, be an everyday starter.
Moss ignited the rally that Oakland used to put away the Indians on Friday, leading off the second inning with a double. His hot hitting kept up on Saturday, when he belted a two-run homer and an RBI double in the 6-2 win against the Indians.
In 2013, Moss led the A's with 30 homers and was second on the team with 87 RBIs, and he's leading Oakland with 36 RBIs and is second with nine homers.
Moss broke out in 2012 after joining the A's in the previous offseason, and he finally thrived the way he never did in previous stints with Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Prior to joining Oakland, his career high in RBIs was the 41 he managed in 133 games with the Pirates in 2009. If he continues to hit, Moss may eclipse that number by June.
"We're lucky to have him," manager Bob Melvin said. "What he's done in his time here has been pretty unbelievable, given he's never really done that at the big league level."
Moss has appeared in every game in May, and all but one game this season.
Melvin will still continue to fill out the lineup card based on matchups, but looking at how Moss continues to do what he has done since he became an Athletic makes the skipper smile.
"He got off to a pretty good start when he got here," Melvin said. "It's been off to the races ever since."
Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.