Geren keeping Cust's hot bat in lineup

Geren keeping Cust's hot bat in lineup

ARLINGTON -- Jack Cust received his third start in left field in as many days Saturday, signaling that manager Bob Geren is quite content with keeping the slugger's bat in the lineup.

"He's been swinging the bat well," Geren said before the club's second meeting of a three-game set with the Rangers. "I think he's been swinging the bat better lately, getting better contact."

That much is evident by Cust's numbers on the current road swing through Cleveland, Texas and New York. He entered Saturday's contest 5-for-12 (.417) on the trip -- a mark that looks mightily better than his .213 average over his past 26 games.

Also coming out of a slump, Geren noted, is Kurt Suzuki, who collected two hits Friday while snapping an 0-for-22 streak. His .142 mark in August is the lowest in the American League and third lowest in the Majors, but Geren sees his catcher -- placed in the designated hitter's slot Saturday -- turning things around.

"He actually hit the ball pretty good with no luck during that stretch," Geren said. "I know he was getting a little frustrated because nothing was falling for hits. He lined out [a] couple hard ones, but he's been feeling a lot better. Last night he hit four balls perfectly."

Suzuki's DH start gave Landon Powell a start behind the plate, marking just the eighth time in the A's past 35 games that he has appeared in a game.