SEATTLE -- Had the A's strictly played in the confines of the Oakland Coliseum last year, their final record likely would have read quite differently. But playing on the road proved a constant challenge, something manager Bob Melvin is hoping to avoid this season.
Melvin and Co. embarked on their first road trip of the year Friday, beginning with a three-game stint in Seattle that will be followed by a four-game set in Anaheim.
"I'd like to think, early on, we can create a little bit of momentum," Melvin said. "Getting off to a good start on the road would be one way to create that. I really don't know why that is sometimes, struggling on the road, why it can be so extreme. But I've always enjoyed playing on the road."
Last year the A's compiled a 43-38 record in Oakland, compared to a dismal 31-50 mark on the road, their fifth consecutive season with a losing record away from home. It tied for fourth worst in the American League and was seventh worst in Oakland history.
It's worth noting that the A's road schedule wasn't the easiest, though. Oakland paid visits to the rowdy cities of Boston and New York twice, whereas this year the club makes those trips just once. In non-divisional play, they'll head to Minnesota, Kansas City, Baltimore and Tampa two times this season, the other A.L. cities once.
Ross in line to take fifth spot in A's rotation
SEATTLE -- It doesn't take a math major to figure this one out.
Righty Tyson Ross, who last pitched for Triple-A Sacramento on Thursday, is scheduled to make his next start on Tuesday -- the same day the A's just so happen to need a fifth starter in Anaheim.
A's manager Bob Melvin wouldn't officially announce Friday who that will be, but he tipped his hand by saying that scheduling will likely dictate his decision.
The choice would be a natural one, as Ross barely missed the cut on the Opening Day roster, when the A's opted for Graham Godfrey's services in the rotation instead. In two starts with the River Cats, Ross is 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA, having surrendered four runs with three walks and four strikeouts in nine innings.
Oakland's other top candidates, right-handers Jarrod Parker and Brad Peacock, are likely primed for more seasoning before earning a promotion this year.
Reddick, Pennington in lineup despite injuries
SEATTLE -- The banged-up duo of Josh Reddick and Cliff Pennington, both of whom exited Wednesday's game early due to injuries, were back in the lineup for Friday's series opener in Seattle.
Reddick was forced to exit the club's 5-4 win over the Royals in the bottom of the eighth inning after getting hit by a pitch that bounced off his right shoulder and caromed into the back of his jaw. The A's outfielder was seeing spots after the incident, but all tests indicated he was OK to go Friday.
Pennington, meanwhile, was lost in the bottom of the sixth when he took a foul pitch off his left knee cap. But the A's shortstop was plugged back into a lineup, geared for a third meeting with Seattle righty Felix Hernandez.
Pennington is a career .258 hitter against the 2010 Cy Young Award winner, the best mark of any A's player not named Kurt Suzuki, who has hit Hernandez to the tune of a .313 average with one home run in 32 at-bats.
Elsewhere in the lineup, third baseman Josh Donaldson received his first career start vs. Hernandez. Eric Sogard started the other pair of contests with the right-hander on the mound, but manager Bob Melvin said, "If he's going to be the everyday third baseman, he's going to have to face everybody."
"Certainly he has some power and can run into one," Melvin said of Donaldson. "Against Felix, you don't expect as a team to hit .500 off him, but if you can get one pitch in one spot and take advantage of it, that could be big."
Donaldson collected just one hit in 15 at-bats with seven strikeouts on the last homestand after going 1-for-3 in one game in Tokyo.
The A's have tallied fewer than 10 hits in each of the first seven games, which ties for the third-longest streak in Oakland history to start a season and is the longest since an eight-game streak at the beginning of the 2001 campaign. The record, recorded in 1978, is 10 games. Overall, the club is batting just .195, the second-lowest average in the American League.
Right-handed reliever Ryan Cook entered Friday having not allowed a base runner in three appearances spanning 3 1/3 innings.