BALTIMORE -- The A's have struggled offensively recently, scoring just 16 runs in the past six games and just 59 on the season -- the fewest in franchise history over the first 20 games.
But A's manager Bob Melvin expects the players to break out of the slump, hopefully in this weekend's series in Baltimore. The A's rank last in the Majors in batting (.205), slugging (.318) and batting with runners in scoring position (.182).
"We do have some younger guys and we have a new mix of guys," Melvin said. "We've gotten off to a little bit of a slow start, and at times we press some, but to be at .500 at this point in time, is not too bad."
Despite the struggles, the A's have showed some power this season. Yoenis Cespedes hit the club's 15th home run on the season on Wednesday against the White Sox. Oakland did not get its 15th home run until the 25th game last season.
"We all feel as a group we're going to heat up here," Melvin said. "This road trip will be a good time for it."
Battling infection, Crisp back in lineup
BALTIMORE -- Left fielder Coco Crisp, who had missed seven of the past eight games because of an ear infection, returned to the lineup on Friday against Baltimore and went 1-for-3 with a stolen base and a run scored in Oakland's 5-2 victory.
As a result, Melvin said Michael Taylor, who had joined the team in Baltimore on Friday as a precaution, will head back to Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday.
Taylor was batting .366 with two home runs and had hits in nine of his past 10 games for Sacramento.
Taylor said the key to his early success is keeping an even mindset and being confident in his ability to hit. He hopes to learn as much as he can in his time with the big league club.
"You learn to deal with adversity and success," Taylor said. "I think guys who have played up here for five, six or seven years have mastered that. It's always great to watch those guys have a bad at-bat and then come back and have a great one. Or, have a great at-bat and put it behind them. I think that is the consummate professional."
Productive Ka'aihue gets start at first
BALTIMORE -- Oakland manager Bob Melvin likes what he has seen from Kila Ka'aihue this season, and he had him starting at first base and batting fifth for Friday's game against Baltimore. Ka'aihue went 0-for-2 with a run scored in Oakland's 5-2 victory.
Ka'aihue is coming off a solid game against the White Sox on Wednesday, when he had the game-winning single in the 14th inning. Ka'aihue entered the series against the Orioles batting .333. He has started nine games this season -- six at first base and three as the designated hitter -- reaching safely in seven of those games.
"He's has productive at-bats for us consistently," Melvin said. "He's hitting over .400 against lefties. So, there you go."
Daric Barton is the A's other option at first base, but he has been hampered by a shoulder injury. Melvin said Barton, who has just four hits in his past 28 at-bats, was still adjusting to the lingering effects from the injury.
"I know Bart is not swinging as well as he will," Melvin said. "I don't think the days off hurt him. I think we have two good options there [at first base]."
Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.