OAKLAND -- When Brandon Moss smashed a three-run home run against the Brewers on June 5, its significance extended past that day's 6-1 victory.
It was Moss' first hit against a left-handed pitcher since May 11. It's also the last time he's faced a left-hander.
Moss, who is batting .186 against lefties this season, has been the beneficiary of an A's schedule that has pitted them against a plethora of right-handed starters lately. Moss' bat has responded with five hits -- and two home runs -- in his last 15 at-bats. The surge -- all against right-handed pitching -- is Moss' best stretch since late April.
"He's been seeing the ball a little bit better and seeing some righties," said A's manager Bob Melvin, who penciled Moss into the cleanup spot Sunday for the 11th time this season. "We've seen quite a few lefties and he was getting his lion's share of at-bats against left-handers, which can be difficult at times.
"Now that we've seen some righties -- not that they've been easy righties -- the fact that he's just a good hitter, when you go through a dry spell, you're going to come out of it."
Moss collected two of Oakland's five hits against Felix Hernandez in the 4-0 loss Saturday. He slugged two home runs in Wednesday's 5-2 win over the Yankees. Nine of his 11 home runs have been against right-handers in 2013.
"It seems like he's had better swings and better balance right now," Melvin said.
Otero settling in after promotion to Oakland
OAKLAND -- A's reliever Dan Otero has pitched on consecutive days since he was called up Friday when Hideki Okajima was optioned to Sacramento.
The 28-year-old right-hander has pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed four hits and a run in his second big league stint and first with Oakland.
"It's good to be up here," Otero said. "It's fun to be up and be a part of this team, we're obviously doing well. We had two tough losses the last two days, but it was good to get in there and get my feet wet with the new guys on the team. I'm feeling good."
Otero debuted in San Francisco last season and pitched in 12 games for the Giants in April and September before being omitted from the postseason roster. He said his approach has remained the same since working his way back to the big leagues.
"I'm still not trying to do too much, but the hitters are better up here obviously, so when you try to change who you are as a pitcher, usually it doesn't lead to success, so I'm just trying to stay who I am, pitch to contact, attack the zone and go from there," Otero said.
A's manager Bob Melvin said he's been pleased with what he's seen the past couple days from the newcomer, who's also on backpack duty for the bullpen. Traditionally, the least experienced reliever carries around a pink backpack -- Oakland's version includes a fuzzy white unicorn on the back -- that typically includes candy, nail cutters and other items.
"He's going to get his share of work and he has already to this point," Melvin said. "I don't think it was paramount that he had to have a clean inning yesterday. I think he's pretty confident with what he's done this year."
A's feeling effects of 18-inning game
OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Melvin left shortstop Jed Lowrie out of the lineup Sunday as the team continues to recharge the batteries following Thursday's 18-inning victory over the Yankees.
"He's played quite a few days in a row between short and third," Melvin said. "I knew at some point we'd have to give him a day off. It's still kind of the effects of that 18-inning game, where we're giving guys days off because those types of games do take a toll on you and the whole team, and afterward it's good to give certain guys days off."
Melvin said he wanted some regulars -- including third baseman Josh Donaldson -- to catch a breather before the team travels to Texas for a four-game series, which begins Monday. Oakland's next scheduled off-day is June 24.
"A long flight or tough trip, it's the second day a lot of times more than the first day [that affects the players]," said Melvin, who added that he's noticed a decreased energy level from his squad the past two days.