Alonso expected to return to lineup Tuesday

Alonso expected to return to lineup Tuesday

OAKLAND -- The A's expect to have Yonder Alonso back in their lineup this week.

Alonso, who was held out of the starting lineup a fourth straight game Sunday, has been recovering from left knee soreness.

A's manager Bob Melvin said Sunday morning, "He went after it in the cage today," and didn't rule out the possibility of him coming off the bench during Oakland's 12-3 loss to the Red Sox. But Alonso stayed put, ensuring his readiness for Tuesday's two-game series opener against Miami.

Alonso's 12 homers are second most on the team to Khris Davis' 13, but others are flashing power, too; the A's exited the day with an American League-best 64 home runs.

"It means we have some depth, and we're not just relying on Yonder and Khris," Melvin said. "It's everybody that's got some power in the lineup. As far as the team knowing that, too, you have the ability to score quickly. You're not always going to hit homers and you have to do other things well, but that's a nice little dynamic to have, knowing that one swing can put a couple runs on the board."

Axford makes season debut

After a lengthy wait, A's reliever John Axford pitched in a game for the first time this season, throwing the eighth inning of Sunday's game.

Axford, who went on the disabled list with a shoulder strain before he could make his season debut, allowed one run on one hit: Jackie Bradley Jr. stretched a single into a double, advanced to third on a deep fly ball off the bat of Christian Vazquez and scored on Deven Marrero's ensuing groundout.

"First time out, no matter what you do in rehab, you can't simulate a big league game," Melvin said. "He threw a lot of pitches and defensively we maybe cost him a run there, but I thought all in all his stuff was pretty good."

Worth Noting

Lefty Sean Doolittle (shoulder) threw off the mound Sunday for the first time since beginning his rehab, totaling 15 pitches. He'll increase to 25 pitches in his next scheduled bullpen session Wednesday.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.