Andy LaRoche is one of the few A's players hitting well, so manager Bob Geren was going to try to find a way to get his bat in the lineup no matter what.
With shortstop Cliff Pennington considered day-to-day due to an infected sweat gland under his left arm, LaRoche was at short again, making back-to-back appearances at a position he never had played at the big-league level before this season.
LaRoche entered the game hitting .417, and the A's as a whole came into the day with a .224 mark overall. None of the team's regulars was hitting above .250. He went 1-for-4.
Pennington is among those struggling the most at the plate, with a .160 mark, and he has struck out seven times without drawing a walk. His on-base percentage is a dreadful .154.
Geren said that perhaps Pennington's reduced at-bats during the spring as he returned from offseason surgery on his left shoulder contributed to his slow start, but he noted that most of the rest of the team isn't hitting much, either, so he was loathe to try to pinpoint a cause for Pennington.
LaRoche made his first error of the season Tuesday night, bouncing a throw to first that Daric Barton couldn't handle in the fifth inning. LaRoche is generally a third baseman but so far has proved to be capable as a utility infielder, something the A's had great need for with Adam Rosales out until late May while coming back from foot surgery.
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