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Melvin likely sticking with same lineup

Melvin likely sticking with same lineup

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Melvin likely sticking with same lineup

DETROIT -- Though offensive struggles have plagued the A's in the first two games of the best-of-five American League Division Series, in large part because of some dominant pitching, Oakland manager Bob Melvin plans to stick with the same lineup that squeezed out a 1-0 walk-off victory in Game 2 for Monday's Game 3.

The only change could perhaps come at second base, where Alberto Callaspo might get the nod over Eric Sogard against righty Anibal Sanchez. But Melvin wouldn't commit to anything Sunday afternoon when speaking to reporters at Comerica Park.

"I'm not sure yet," he said. "Still mulling it over a little bit."

Callaspo is so valuable off the bench as a switch-hitter that he just might stay there, especially when considering that Sogard has been more reliable defensively.

Defense is also what's keeping Gold Glove outfielder Josh Reddick in the lineup despite some offensive struggles. He struck out three times in Game 1 and botched a crucial bunt attempt in Game 2.

"For me," said Melvin about the value of good defense, "saving a run is like an RBI."

Beyond that, Seth Smith is expected to start at designated hitter for a second straight game, a move that got Tigers manager Jim Leyland thinking.

"I thought Bob did a good job when he slipped Smith into the lineup," Leyland said Sunday. "Couple of big hits for them. I thought it was a good move. We're going to slip [Jhonny] Peralta in there [Monday] and hope that maybe we can get the same kind of results."

Other than the expected inclusion of Peralta, Leyland doesn't anticipate any other lineup changes.

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

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