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Athletics vs. Rangers: Josh Willingham Activated From DL And Back In Lineup

The Oakland Athletics activated Josh Willingham from the disabled list prior to Thursday night’s contest with the Texas Rangers and have inserted him back into the cleanup spot in time for the series opener. The A’s also activated setup man Grant Balfour. In order to make room for the two moves, the A’s optioned Graham Godfrey and Guillermo Moscoso to AAA-Sacramento. Moscoso is expected to return to the A’s after the All Star break and use this time to stay in line in the rotation.

The return of Josh Willingham means the A’s can return Hideki Matsui to the three-spot, which creates a domino effect for the rest of the order. Coco Crisp moves up from third to second in the order, while Jemile Weeks remains in the leadoff spot. Scott Sizemore was moved from second to fifth in the starting lineup and Conor Jackson and Kurt Suzuki dropped to seventh and eighth.

The A’s will need all the offensive help they can get as they face a tough Rangers lineup in the friendly confines of Arlington Stadium.

Oakland Athletics
1. Jemile Weeks 2B
2. Coco Crisp CF
3. Hideki Matsui DH
4. Josh Willingham LF
5. Scott Sizemore 3B
6. Conor Jackson RF
7. Chris Carter 1B
8. Kurt Suzuki C
9. Cliff Pennington SS

Texas Rangers
1. Ian Kinsler 2B
2. Elvis Andrus SS
3. Josh Hamilton LF
4. Adrian Beltre 3B
5. Michael Young DH
6. Nelson Cruz RF
7. Mitch Moreland 1B
8. Mike Napoli C
9. Endy Chavez CF