SEATTLE -- Rookie Derek Norris' first career home run, a memorable walkoff shot to beat the Giants on Sunday, wasn't enough to keep him in the lineup for Monday's series opener in Seattle, as manager Bob Melvin instead opted to start Kurt Suzuki.
The decision, Melvin explained, was mostly made to accommodate starter Tommy Milone, who has a 3.39 ERA in nine starts when paired with Suzuki. Norris will start Tuesday, with lefty Travis Blackley on the mound, and Melvin said the day's starter behind the plate moving forward likely will be dictated by who is on the mound.
"I think, more so now, that will be the case," he said. "We'll get them each some time. I think Suzuki's done a good job with Milone."
Norris, who started three of the first four games played by the A's since his callup, is 3-for-12, while Suzuki entered the day batting .216. More recently, he's hit .190 over his last 24 games, and his slugging percentage (.268) ranks last in the Majors, while his on-base percentage is second lowest.
Cespedes set for return to outfield Tuesday
SEATTLE -- Yoenis Cespedes' stint at designated hitter appears to be coming to an end, as the A's slugger is penciled in to start Tuesday's game against the host Mariners in the outfield.
Having needed a handful of weeks to nurse his strained left hamstring back to health, Cespedes missed nine of 10 games before making five straight appearances at DH, where he was used on Monday night. He will be in either left or center field for the second of a three-game set, depending on whether Coco Crisp gets a break from the latter spot.
Cespedes went 5-for-20 with one home run, one double and four RBIs in five games at DH, three of which the A's won, as they improved to 23-18 with him in the lineup, compared to 12-20 when he doesn't play.
"Sometimes he looked like he'd rather be out on the field and wanted to do more," manager Bob Melvin said. "For a guy who's used to being on the field, the time between at-bats when you're DH'ing can be a challenge, but I think he's been reasonably good at it."
Once back in the outfield, Cespedes will occasionally see action at DH, though Seth Smith and Jonny Gomes are likely to platoon there on most days.