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Smith called on to DH in Game 2

Smith called on to DH in Game 2

Smith called on to DH in Game 2

OAKLAND -- A day after striking out 16 times in a 3-2 loss to the Tigers in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, the A's rolled out a similar lineup against righty Justin Verlander for Game 2.

The only addition to Saturday evening's lineup was Seth Smith at designated hitter. Brandon Moss, who was the A's DH on Friday, moved to first base in place of Daric Barton, who moved to the bench.

Manager Bob Melvin said he targeted this change all along, noting Barton's defensive troubles on Friday did not play into his decision.

ALDS
"Smitty has a history with Justin Verlander," said Melvin, "and the versatility with Brandon Moss allows us to play him at first."

Smith is just 2-for-15 in his career against Verlander, but one of those hits is a home run, and he's also walked six times in 21 total plate appearances vs. the righty for a .381 on-base percentage.

He was part of an A's lineup that did well in running up Verlander's pitch count the last time they faced him, forcing him to throw 44 pitches to get through a two-run first inning, 104 in all to finish five innings on Aug. 28.

Smith hit .286 (4-for-14) in seven games against Detroit this year and is a career .321 hitter vs. the Tigers, with four home runs and nine RBIs in 19 games. He also went 14-for-38 over his final 19 regular-season games.

"He was swinging the bat well," said Melvin. "He has the most experience of getting at-bats and sitting for a while and still keeping himself ready to get an at-bats, whether it's once every three or four days or once a week."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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