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ARLINGTON, Texas – Slugger Adam Dunn is hitting second in the A’s lineup Friday, the first time since 2008 that Dunn has drawn a start as a No. 2 hitter.
Can it really hurt?
It’s part of the A’s never-ending quest for run production as they look to generate any kind of spark and lock down a wild card spot. Dunn seems he could use a shake-up as well. He’s batting just .218 with two homers and eight RBI in 22 games since the A’s acquired him from the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 31.
Dunn, a big-power and big-strikeout guy his entire career, has made 106 starts as a No. 2 hitter but none over the past six seasons. He was asked about his thoughts when he saw his name in the second spot on the lineup card.
“It’s the same as when I see it in the 4,5,6, or 7 (spot),” Dunn said. “As long as I’m in there it doesn’t matter. I think it’s a way bigger deal to other people than it is to the players in here.”
The A’s as a team are batting just .213 and averaging three runs per game over their last 26 contests. A lack of offense is the main reason why they’re still scratching to nail down a postseason berth. Their magic number was two entering Friday night’s game against the Rangers to clinch a wild card spot.
“We’re just trying to mix it up some,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ve done that in the ‘2’ hole before, whether it’s a guy like Jonny Gomes or Stephen Vogt … We’ll see how it works out. When you’re stagnant offensively, sometimes just a change of scenery or mixing it up a bit can be beneficial.”
Added Dunn: “It’s not like we’re screwing up a good thing right now. And again, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s not like I’m gonna go out there and lay down two sacrifice bunts.”
Craig Gentry took swings in an indoor cage Friday and is gradually increasing his baseball activity. The speedy outfielder, recovering from a concussion suffered Sept. 9, hasn’t given up hope of playing if the A’s make the postseason.
“Hopefully it all goes well,” he said. “I think we’re going to increase activity every day. I feel good. I’m just trying to get back as soon as I can, (though) I don’t know if I can.”
Gentry says the concussion was actually the sixth that he’s suffered over the years. His first two came as a high school basketball player, then he suffered a bad one during his college baseball career and two more mild ones during his professional career.
This most recent one put him through “a rough stretch” for a couple of weeks.
“I got splitting headaches. I was just tired,” Gentry said. “I had trouble processing my thoughts into words, trouble sleeping. I was very irritable. But I woke up Monday morning and texted (A’s head trainer) Nick (Paparesta) and said, ‘I think I turned a corner.’”
Melvin had already announced Thursday that catcher John Jaso, recovering from a concussion of his own, is out for the season.