Reddick returns to starting lineup

Reddick returns to starting lineup

OAKLAND -- Josh Reddick was be back in his familiar spot in the lineup on Saturday for the A's, playing right field and hitting third against the Cleveland Indians.

Reddick, who leads the A's with 25 home runs, has been hampered by complications from having a tooth extracted on Monday. He was out of the lineup Wednesday and was limited to pinch-hitting duty Friday after undergoing yet another dental procedure.

Reddick said he is not pain-free, but he's in much less pain than before.

"It's easier to deal with now," Reddick said. "Not as intense as it was before."

Reddick said he noticed improvement in the latter innings of Friday night's 6-4 win and felt good enough to pinch-hit -- he singled, loading the bases during the A's two-run, game-winning rally.

"I was able to move around and not just sit there and put ice on it and do nothing," he said. "I obviously was able to get in there and get a pinch-hit. If I'm able to move around and deal with it, I'm fine with that. The pain I was dealing with in Kansas City was something that I really need to avoid right now."

A's manager Bob Melvin said on Saturday he was encouraged by Reddick's improvement.

"I think today, so far, has been his best day," Melvin said. "Hopefully that continues."

Reddick is still limited to liquids and soft foods, and Melvin said he needs to make sure he doesn't lose weight while recovering. Reddick is listed at just 180 pounds at 6-foot-2.

"I know our people are very good about monitoring that type of thing," Melvin said. "It hasn't' been a concern so far with him, but hopefully he's getting enough in his stomach to where he can keep the weight on."