ANAHEIM -- With Stephen Drew missing from Thursday's lineup for the A's series finale in Anaheim, a familiar double-play duo took to the field.
Jemile Weeks and Cliff Pennington both drew starts, with the former manning second base for the first time since his surprising demotion Aug. 21, and the latter back at the shortstop position he hasn't seen since Drew jumped on board.
Before Thursday, Drew had started 20 of Oakland's 21 games at shortstop since reporting to the team following his acquisition from the D-backs. The rest is especially deserving, considering much of his season was spent mending the surgically repaired right ankle he fractured last year.
"He's been pretty durable since he's been with us, and that was a pretty big injury he's had, so I'm actually surprised with how durable he's been and how few days off he's had," manager Bob Melvin said. "This is only the second day I've given him since he's been here."
This won't become the norm, though, as Melvin noted, "We like what we're seeing out of Pennington and Drew."
"Those are our starters at this point," he continued. "But we're not afraid to play some hot hands, too, and Weeks has been a big part of this team. I actually feel good I can get him a start."
Weeks was hitting just .220 through 113 games with the A's when he was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento. That came after a breakout rookie season, when he compiled a .303 average in 97 games last year. He worked on raising his bat angle while with the River Cats and found success with the adjustment, collecting 15 hits in 45 at-bats.