The A’s thought they’d caught a break when third baseman Matt Chapman, hit by a pitch on the batting helmet just above his left ear, was able to stay in Tuesday’s A’s-Rangers game.
But after the game he felt a headache, which was gone by the time he reported to Globe Life Field Wednesday. After taking batting practice and doing some workouts, the headache was back.
As a precaution, the A’s gave him Wednesday’s game off, although manager Bob Melvin said he believed Chapman would be back in the lineup in the series finale Thursday.
“He got hit last night and had a little bit of a headache,” Melvin said. “Once he started working on hitting in the cage, the headache came back. It’s a little tender right where he got hit. There’s no concussion.
“We feel like he’d be ready to play tomorrow. But we just didn’t want to mess around with that tonight, so we’ll give him the night off.”
The A’s have been hit by pitches an American League-high, but this is the first time one of their number has been hit in the head.
They have lost games after having a batter hit, Ramón Laureano being slapped with a four-game suspension in the aftermath of a brawl with the Astros on Aug. 9, a that came after the Astros hit Laureano with pitches three time in a three-game series.
Laureano, who is back and who will be in the lineup this weekend when the A’s visit Houston, said his leading the league in hit batsmen is just one of those things.
“They have been throwing in, you know, with sinkers and stuff,” the center fielder said. “And I’ve been getting hit on 3-2 counts. Sinkers run in a lot – some of these guys, their pitches run in like 10 inches.”
As for the A’s collectively having been hit the most, he said it hasn’t been frustrating.
“If you understand how they throw to people, they have got to throw inside,” Laureano said. “It’s just part of the game. It’s not like straight fastballs are coming at you. It’s been some sinkers and some sliders. If you want to hit somebody, hit them with the slider.”
--Starting at third base for Chapman is Vimael Machin, who will be making just his second start in the field, having started at second base on July 29. He has also started three times as the DH.
--Franklin Barreto is finally getting a start, 32 games into the season. He has appeared mostly as a pinch-runner, having scored five runs, and he’s pinch-hit three times. He’s hitless on the season, 0-for-7.
--With a left-hander, Kolby Allard, starting for the Astros, Robbie Grossman wasn’t in the lineup and Laureano moved back into the No. 2 slot in the lineup, the spot he’d been all year before Tuesday.
--Stephen Piscotty, who’d hit mostly seventh an eighth before batting fifth Tuesday and clubbing a bases-loaded double, is in the lineup batting third for the first time this season.
--Khris Davis, who hasn’t started since Friday, was back in the lineup against the left-hander. Melvin said his hope is to get his slugger untracked. “It’s hard for me not to put him in the lineup,” Melvin said. “He’s been such a force for us for years, and it’s been tough for him. But he understands, he doesn’t get upset about it and he continues to work and wants to contribute. We always hope that he gets a couple of good games under his belt and we put him back in the position that he was.”
--Laureano tried to cut his own hair, but he suffered a little grooming accident and the only way to remedy it was to give himself a buzz cut, so he’s sporting a new look.
Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3
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