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Laureano throws out Altuve in return to action

@MartinJGallegos
September 11, 2019

HOUSTON -- Ramón Laureano found himself back in the A's outfield Wednesday, after a right leg cramp kept him out of action the previous three games, only in a different spot than usual. Mark Canha remained in Laureano's usual spot in center field, with Laureano starting in right for the

HOUSTON -- Ramón Laureano found himself back in the A's outfield Wednesday, after a right leg cramp kept him out of action the previous three games, only in a different spot than usual.

Mark Canha remained in Laureano's usual spot in center field, with Laureano starting in right for the first time in his big league career. So far, so good.

In the fifth inning of the A's 5-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park, Laureano was challenged after mishandling Michael Brantley's single off the wall along the right-field line, but the strong-throwing outfielder delivered a strike that beat Jose Altuve attempting to score from first base.

The position switch, which is likely temporary, was made to give Laureano less ground to cover as he's less than a week removed from returning from the injured list for a stress reaction in his right shin that kept him out for 32 games.

"We're just trying to limit his running a little bit, and Mark has done such a good job in center field," A's manager Bob Melvin said before Wednesday's game against the Astros. "This maybe even brings Ramon's arm into play a little more in right. At least for the interim, we'll probably have him in right field."

Although Laureano, 25, was making his right field debut in the Majors, the position is not foreign to him. He actually logged more games in right (241) than any of the other outfield spots over his five Minor League seasons, playing it last year for Oakland's Triple-A affiliate.

"It's like home to me," Laureano said of right field. "I like anywhere they put me. Center field is fun, but I just have to play right field because of my status right now. I understand that. Just happy to be back."

While he didn't go as far as to say he was feeling 100% after the extra rest, Laureano said he feels "good enough to play."

Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.