05/22/10 1:38 AM ET
A's get reinforcements for clash with Cain
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
Both storylines should provide plenty of intrigue Saturday when this season's first Interleague series between the San Francisco Bay rivals continues at the Oakland Coliseum.
For the A's, it's been a long time coming, but Coco Crisp has returned to the lineup after over a month on the disabled list with a fractured left pinky, and it's likely that second baseman Mark Ellis will return to the fold Saturday.
Crisp gives the A's seven outfield options, and manager Bob Geren says the veteran should provide a spark to the inconsistent hitting Oakland has seen so far in 2010.
"The offense has been real up and down, so just having somebody who can jump-start us is real nice," Geren said.
Ellis, meanwhile, played with Triple-A Sacramento on Friday night but should be ready to return Saturday after being out of action since April 20 because of hamstring tendinitis.
"We felt he needed to play at least nine innings once," Geren said. "He's still day to day, but hopefully he'll be back here soon. With a leg injury, it's important he gets a full game in."
The Giants, meanwhile, will be looking for a full game from Cain, who has been lights-out against the A's.
The right-hander is making his seventh career start against Oakland, and although he's only 2-4 against them, he has a 2.89 ERA and .173 batting average against and has yielded five earned runs in his last 24 innings vs. the A's.
Two of his eight career complete games have come against Oakland, including one last season.
Cain has often been plagued by a lack of offensive support, and it happened again in his last start, a loss to the Padres in which he gave up two earned runs on six hits in six innings.
"You make mistakes against these guys, they're going to take advantage of them," Cain said after that game. "That's what happened."
Giants: Huff on fire
First baseman Aubrey Huff went 2-for-4 on Friday night and leads the Giants with a .333 (23-for-69) average in the month of May. ... Bengie Molina is hitless in his last 13 at-bats. ... Third baseman Pablo Sandoval has hit safely in 14 of 15 career Interleague games and is batting .407 (22-for-54) in those games.
A's: One-run wonders
The A's are 7-2 in one-run games, the best record in the Majors this year. They went 15-23 in one-run games last year, which was second-worst in the American League. They're 3-2 in extra-inning games this year, which means they've already matched their extra-inning win total from last year. ... Saturday starter Gio Gonzalez comes off a victory over the Mariners in his last start in which he gave up three runs on four hits over seven innings while striking out four and walking four. Gonzalez allowed six runs (four earned) on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings the only time in his career he's made a start against the Giants.
Prior to pitching 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball in Friday night's 6-1 loss to the A's, the Giants' bullpen had been touched for 14 runs in 14 innings through the first four games of the road trip, including 11 runs in its previous six innings. ... The A's offense has been successful in 24 of 30 stolen-base attempts, the third-best percentage in the AL.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.