SEATTLE -- The A's utilized their eighth different lineup of the season on Sunday, with manager Bob Melvin hoping the newest one provides a spark of sorts for a struggling offense that is hitting just .200 on the season.
"I always feel like everyone's on the verge of swinging well," Melvin said. "And I really do think it's something where we get a nice game early on, string some hits together, you can gain some momentum from that. That'll be the key for us, to relax a bit. Everyone wants to be that guy right now to get us out of the little funk we're in."
Josh Reddick, who has appeared in the three-hole with the most frequency, was bumped to the No. 5 spot, while Seth Smith got his first shot at batting third. Melvin says he is comfortable with either for the job but noted, "As far as our averages to this point, [Smith] is up there."
Smith was batting .294 through eight games heading into Sunday, all at designated hitter -- the highest mark of any A's player with at least 15 at-bats. He's also compiled four walks, tying for the team lead with Yoenis Cespedes.
"He's a professional hitter," Melvin said. "He's a guy that has pinch-hit in the past, so I don't think DH is foreign to him. At some point in time, I do need to get him in the outfield, just to keep him current. But he's as advertised -- lets the ball travel, hits it the other way, sees pitches from time to time."
Elsewhere in the lineup, Anthony Recker received his second start of the season behind the plate. Both have coincided with right-hander Graham Godfrey's starts, as the two are quite familiar with each other. Along with Kurt Suzuki, Daric Barton and Josh Donaldson were also rested on Sunday, with Kila Ka'aihue and Eric Sogard starting at the corners.
A's eager to move beyond facing Seattle
SEATTLE -- Having played seven of their first 10 regular-season games against the Mariners, it's safe to say the A's are looking forward to their two-month hiatus from them.
"It is, I'm not going to lie," a smiling Bob Melvin said on Sunday morning.
His club took part in three Opening Days -- one in Tokyo, the second in Oakland and another in Seattle -- with the Mariners, whom they also saw quite frequently throughout Spring Training as well. Entering Sunday, the A's were 2-4 in the season series.
"Geez, I feel like we've played them every game so far," Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak said. "It's going to be nice not to see them for a while. It's just one of those things. Uncle, you know? How many times can you play a team in two weeks?"
The A's might be missing the Mariners, though, this week, after they get their first regular-season look at a loaded Angels team. Four night games await the two teams, beginning on Monday. And while Los Angeles has struggled out of the gate, the A's know their division foes, now employers of Albert Pujols, are still very much a threat.
"You see the lineup -- they're deep in the rotation, got some speed at the top and bottom and some power in the middle," Melvin said. "They haven't played great to this point, but I don't think there's any doubt about the fact that they're probably one of the better teams in the American League. We're going to have to play well."
The A's fared well against the Halos last year, compiling an 11-8 record.