OAKLAND, Calif. — After missing three games with foot inflammation, right fielder Kyle Tucker returned to the Astros’ starting lineup Wednesday, but not in his customary six-hole spot in the batting order.
Astros manager Dusty Baker moved Tucker up to hit second in the series finale against the A’s, taking the place of Michael Brantley, who was given a day off. Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez remained in their customary leadoff, No. 3 and cleanup spots, respectively.
“I don’t know if it’s just for today or depends on how Michael feels tomorrow or the next day,” Baker said. “(Tucker) was playing so-so when he left. It’s not like he was hot when he left. And that way I get him in front of Breggy and get him in front of Yordan. I like them back-to-back-to- back because then they got three lefties over there out of that bullpen that they can attack them with.”
Prior to Wednesday, Tucker had not batted higher than fourth in any of his 45 games played this season. In his career, he batted second in 15 plate appearances across six games and two starts with a .214 batting average, one double, one home run, one walk and three strikeouts.