OAKLAND -- Hoping for an improved offensive showing against Tigers righty Justin Verlander, A's manager Bob Melvin elected to give Alberto Callaspo the start at second base over Eric Sogard on Thursday.
"All his at-bats in this series have been good," said Melvin, as his club readied for Game 5 of the American League Division Series. "What you try to weigh is whether or not you need to get him four at-bats or if you want to try to pick a spot for him, and in this particular game, it came down to wanting to get him multiple at-bats."
Sogard started the first four games of this series and was hitless in nine at-bats, reaching base just once via walk in Game 4. Callaspo has pinch-hit for him three times, going 1-for-3 and also putting together an impressive at-bat that resulted in a sharp lineout against Max Scherzer on Wednesday.
"I think like any game, particularly in the postseason, particularly in a Game 5, you're looking to try to get your best lineup, your hottest hitters up there as much times as you can," Melvin said. "Similar to what they're doing with Jhonny Peralta at shortstop; they're trying to get their best offense in there, and that's the reason Callaspo is in there."
The only other notable change to Melvin's lineup was Yoenis Cespedes' promotion from the fifth spot to the fourth. Brandon Moss, who hit there in the first four games, batted sixth Thursday, with the red-hot Seth Smith -- 5-for-12 in this series -- hitting fifth.
Cespedes, who entered the day 7-for-18 with four RBIs in the series, has collected at least one hit in each of his nine career postseason games.
"That has a lot to do with putting Cespedes in the cleanup spot," Melvin said. "There are times, with Brandon Moss being a 30-homer guy, I try to insulate him in between a couple of righties. But Cespedes swinging as well as he is right now, I just wanted to move him up a spot. Seth Smith is swinging the bat real well right now, and so move him up and Brandon Moss moves down to the six spot. It's all about moving the guys who are hitting the best up in the lineup."
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.