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Shared positions are the norm for A's

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Brandon Moss has hit 10 homers in 24 games with the Oakland A's -- and he's in a platoon at first base.

Moss, who was the AL Player of the Week last month after hitting five homers in a four-game span, is now sharing time with rookie Chris Carter -- at least through the All-Star break. The A's then must assess if they want a longtime top prospect such as Carter to remain a part-time player or if he should get regular at-bats with Class AAA Sacramento.

Carter, a right-handed hitter, homered in each of his first two games with Oakland last week, and then Moss, a left-handed hitter, homered on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday.

The A's are not afraid to platoon at various spots. Besides first base, the DH role is shared between left-handed-hitting Seth Smith and righty Jonny Gomes (at least when Yoenis Cespedes isn't there to limit the pounding on his legs after he missed time with a hamstring strain). Rookie Derek Norris is starting three games each turn through the rotation to veteran Kurt Suzuki's two, though it's not really a platoon -- both hit right-handed.

Even shortstop Cliff Pennington, like Suzuki off to a poor start at the plate, has ceded some time to recently promoted Brandon Hicks.

Manager Bob Melvin was asked if platoon situations make his job more difficult or less, and he said that for lineup purposes, platoons might be easier, but once the game starts it's more difficult trying to figure out when to pinch-hit when a player is in a platoon.

On Tuesday, he left Carter in against Boston right-hander Alfredo Aceves in the ninth because he wanted to use Moss to pinch-hit further down in the order. Carter started the Athletics' game-winning rally with a leadoff single that inning, and Moss drove him in with a pinch single that tied the game.

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