OAKLAND -- Brandon Moss' recent production is forcing the A's to occasionally stray from their typically strict platoon system these days.
Moss made just his 10th start against a left-handed starter on Friday night, representing the only lefty in the starting lineup against Astros southpaw Dallas Keuchel.
"Our front office does a good job of monitoring and evaluating our lineup and when we'll have an extra lefty in the lineup," said manager Bob Melvin. "A lot of it has to do with how Brandon's swinging, and he is swinging awfully well. He's had some decent at-bats of lefties in-game too."
Moss hit home runs off a pair of Detroit's lefty relievers just last week, giving him a total of four on the season vs. southpaws in 70 at-bats. Overall, his batting average remains .200 against left-handers, compared to .261 against right-handers, but that doesn't reflect his recent success: He has a .308 clip vs. lefties since Aug. 1.
"I know that in my career, until this year, I hit lefties better than righties for average, but I don't have the power against them like I do against righties just because everything's away," Moss said. "Everything goes away, and it's just a little bit tougher to hit that for power."
Still, does Melvin see Moss, who is batting .333 with eight home runs in his last 17 games, potentially stepping into an everyday role at some point in his career, rather than one defined by a platoon?
"I do," he said. "But the team is set up a certain way. We do play the percentages on a particular day, so there will be some left-handers we pinch-hit against and others that we'll leave him in for. He's having a terrific season for us, and he's a big part of the offense when we're going good."
"I don't put anything past myself, but I don't want to get too far ahead, either," Moss said. "I try to focus on whatever my role is and make the most of that. If I'm in there, like tonight against a lefty, I'll do the best I can. There's a lot of tough righties that are just as tough as some lefties, so you just got to battle."