CHICAGO -- The result was not any different, but new A's manager Bob Melvin provided a glimpse Thursday night of some of the things he has in mind.
Melvin's debut ended on a sour note, with the A's falling 9-4 to the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field and extending their losing streak to 10 games.
Melvin was introduced as Bob Geren's replacement in an afternoon news conference and then began a crash course familiarizing himself with his new players.
"It's all about winning, and it would have been nice to go home tonight and get some sleep knowing that we won a game, but we'll come back out and battle (Friday)," Melvin said.
Melvin's first call to the bullpen came earlier than he would have liked. Right-hander Trevor Cahill (6-4) in his shortest outing of the season surrendering a season-high six earned runs on eight hits in just 22/3 innings.
He allowed Adam Dunn's two-run homer, issued two bases-loaded walks and hit a batter.
Improvement from Cahill is an obvious key for the A's, if they're to climb the ladder in the American League West. But the most intriguing aspect Thursday was how Melvin is looking to fit his lineup pieces together.
Notably, he started designated hitter Hideki Matsui against Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle (6-4). It marked the first time the left-handed hitting Matsui was in the lineup against a lefty since May 2.
That game was also the last time Matsui homered before Thursday. His two-run shot off Buehrle in the seventh cut the A's deficit to 6-3.
While managing the Seattle Mariners from 2003-04, Melvin saw plenty of Matsui, then with the New York Yankees. That was many years ago, but Melvin said he believes there's still thump in Matsui's bat.
He said Matsui, hitting just .215, will start Friday against Sox right-hander Edwin Jackson and indicated the veteran will see more than the platoon action he was getting under Geren recently.
"I've looked at his numbers, and certainly it isn't indicative of the type of player he is," Melvin said. "I know he got off to a little bit of a slow start last year, but he came around. We need some pop in our lineup if we're going to win some games here and get on a roll. He needs to be a part of it."
Matsui, with four homers and 22 RBIs, knows he needs to produce to get at-bats.
"Bottom line, if I'm going to be in the lineup, I've got to help the team win," he said through translator Roger Kahlon.
For the first time this season, Cliff Pennington hit in the No. 2 spot, an idea that Geren also had considered.
It will be interesting to see if the speedy Pennington hits near the top of the lineup more often, particularly as Melvin pointed out before the game the A's are more likely to score runs being aggressive on the bases than by hitting homers.