A's Vs. Rays Lineups: Jurickson Profar Returns, Frankie Montas Gets the Start

OAKLAND -- The A's enter Thursday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays with one notable absence, although it's not in the lineup.

Oakland manager Bob Melvin is away from the team for personal reasons, leaving bench coach Ryan Christenson to fill in as the A's skipper for the series opener. Melvin has been dealing with some discomfort in his neck and upper back and had a pre-planned appointment to try to pinpoint the issue. He will be back with the team on Friday.

On the field, it figures to be a tremendous pitching matchup with Frankie Montas facing off against Charlie Morton. Montas, 26, is enjoying a breakout season, going 9-2 with a 2.85 ERA in his first 14 starts. This will be his first career start against the Rays.

Morton, meanwhile, is 8-1 with a 2.37 ERA in 15 starts this season. The 35-year-old has gone 2-1 with a 3.27 ERA in six career starts against the A's.

Oakland will send out its standard lineup against right-handed pitching, with Matt Olson representing the only left-handed bat in the order. He will bat third.

Ramón Laureano will hit fifth for the fourth game in a row, with Stephen Piscotty once again batting seventh. Jurickson Profar returns to the lineup after getting Wednesday off. He will bat eighth.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Rays game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 7:07.

Tampa Bay Rays (43-31)
Austin Meadows, DH
Tommy Pham, LF
Brandon Lowe, 2B
Avisaíl García, RF
Ji-Man Choi, 1B
Kevin Kiermaier, CF
Willy Adames, SS
Joey Wendle, 3B
Mike Zunino, C

Charlie Morton, RHP (8-1, 2.37 ERA)

Oakland A's (39-36)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Khris Davis, DH
Ramón Laureano, CF
Robbie Grossman, LF
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Josh Phegley, C

Frankie Montas, RHP (9-2, 2.85 ERA)

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