OAKLAND -- Consider the A's second-place standing in the American League West not so much a reflection of their early-season performance but of those around them.
Entering Tuesday 5 1/2 games behind division-leading Texas, owner of a 13-4 record, Oakland sat just ahead of the Mariners and a surprisingly struggling Angels team -- despite being shut out in 22 percent of its games.
Monday's shutout marked the A's fourth of the season, most in the Majors and more than manager Bob Melvin was aware of.
"That does sound like a big number in 18 games, and we're not happy about that," Melvin said. "I think each and every guy should take that personally. I know I do. We're better than that offensively. And as a group, we have to take it personally and intensify our focus a little bit, and really get going a bit earlier in games. We have to try to put the pressure on the other team before they put it on us, and we haven't been real good about that early in the season to this point."
The A's are 6-0 when scoring first, compared to a dismal 2-10 when their opponents do. Moreover, they have a perfect record (6-0) when leading after seven innings, but are 1-9 when trailing after that frame. Overall, they've scored just 52 runs, fewest in Oakland history over the first 18 games of the season and fewest in the AL.
"The way we've been offensively, we're probably lucky to be two games under .500," Melvin said. "The pitching has been terrific. The defense, for the most part, has been terrific. We just haven't hit our stride yet offensively."
Crisp sits again after feeling dizzy on Monday
OAKLAND -- An ailing Coco Crisp sat out for the sixth time in seven days on Tuesday, as a bout with dizziness in Monday's game warranted more rest during the middle contest of a three-game series with the visiting White Sox.
Crisp is expected to stay away from baseball activity until Friday, following an off-day.
"I think [Monday's] game got him a little bit nauseous," manager Bob Melvin said. "Last night, I think he had some struggles as the game went along. We'll take it day by day. I think we're that much closer, but maybe last night was a little quick."
Crisp has been sidelined by a head cold that led to an inner ear problem. After missing the final two games in Anaheim and all of the Indians series over the weekend, Crisp returned to the lineup on Monday and went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Melvin said Crisp was visibly ill but did not want to be taken out of the game.
"I think he found that with the activity it got him a little dizzy," Melvin said.
With Crisp out again, Melvin played Jonny Gomes in left field, while starting Seth Smith at designated hitter. Elsewhere in the lineup, Eric Sogard and Anthony Recker garnered starts at shortstop and catcher, respectively, while Cliff Pennington and Kurt Suzuki got the day off.
De Los Santos struggling early on
OAKLAND -- Fautino De Los Santos' numbers are slightly puzzling, and perhaps more so troubling.
The A's right-hander has not allowed a run in five of his six games this season. But, he has yet to retire a batter in any of his past three appearances -- a first in A's history since at least 1918. Overall, the reliever's opponents have a .412 batting average against him and a .500 on-base percentage.
"It's been a little bit of a struggle for him," manager Bob Melvin admitted on Tuesday. "He's trying to find a bit of a rhythm for himself. Just a little bit of a rut, and it's how you handle the struggles and how you get past them. The past three games haven't been his best."
It's possible that his next game will come at Triple-A Sacramento. The A's are prepared to make a roster move on Wednesday, when starter Jarrod Parker is officially promoted. It's all but certain one of their eight relievers will be sent out.
Given his minimal experience, lefty Pedro Figueroa would normally be a strong possibility -- except for the fact he has not allowed a run in two innings with the A's. That stretch follows a string of seven scoreless innings for Sacramento and seven more during the spring.
A's second baseman Jemile Weeks hosted a fielding clinic for the varsity and junior varsity baseball teams at Oakland's Skyline High School on Tuesday at their newly renovated field. The A's, in partnership with the Good Tidings Foundation, renovated the George Powles Field during the offseason.