Sweeney expects to be in the Athletics’ lineup on Thursday as they conclude their three-game series with the Royals with a doubleheader at Kauffman Stadium.
Kansas City (58-79) drafted Sweeney out of high school in 1991, and he made his professional debut four years later. He compiled a .299 average with 197 home runs—the second-most in franchise history—and 837 RBIs in 1,282 games with the Royals.
He signed with Oakland (63-75) on Feb. 10, and hit .292 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 40 games with the Athletics before going on the DL May 30. He underwent surgery on both knees 12 days later.
Sweeney has been told that he needs microfracture surgery on his ailing knees, likely requiring six to nine months of recovery. But the five-time All-Star opted to postpone those career-threatening procedures until after the season for the chance to play at Kauffman Stadium again.
“I’m just going to try to enjoy every second of this last month, no matter what happens,” Sweeney told the Athletics’ official Web site.
Sweeney hoped for the chance to face Kansas City on Wednesday, but the game was rained out and forced a doubleheader on Thursday.
The decision to postpone the game didn’t sit well with Royals manager Trey Hillman after his club won for only the third time in 15 games on Tuesday, with a 5-2 win behind Billy Butler’s homer and four RBIs.
“In a lot of ways I am disappointed because we just had a day off,” Hillman told the Royals’ official Web site.
For Thursday’s opener, the A’s hand the ball to Dana Eveland (8-8, 4.21 ERA), who has led the team to wins in three of his last four outings. The left-hander limited Minnesota to two runs and five hits over seven innings in last Thursday’s 3-2 home win, though he didn’t factor in the decision.
Eveland won his lone career start versus the Royals on April 20, holding them to a run and three hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-1 home victory.
He will be opposed by Brian Bannister (7-14, 5.75), who is 0-8 with a horrendous 7.99 ERA in his last 11 outings. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.96 ERA in four career starts versus the A’s—all in Oakland.
In the nightcap, the Royals will start Kyle Davies (5-6, 4.76), who tries to avoid losing a career-high fifth straight start. On Friday, the right-hander gave up six runs in 4 2-3 innings of a 6-3 loss at Detroit.
Davies is 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in two career starts against the A’s, who counter with southpaw Dan Meyer (0-3, 6.33).
Meyer, who is still searching for his first career victory, was roughed up for six runs in 1 2-3 innings of a 12-2 home loss to Minnesota on Friday. In his lone career outing versus Kansas City, he allowed three earned runs and over four innings of a 9-2 home loss on Aug. 17, 2007.