OAKLAND -- Following weeks of rather slow progress, A's outfielder Conor Jackson will take a big step Sunday by playing three innings in his first rehab game.Jackson, placed on the 15-day disabled list -- marking his second DL stint of the year -- on July 5 with a right hamstring strain, has been stationed in Arizona since the beginning of the All-Star break. Manager Bob Geren said he will be limited to a trio of innings with the A's Arizona Rookie League club and "will progress from there." Jackson was following a running program established by A's director of strength and conditioning Bob Alejo and hoped to return shortly after the break, but he endured something of a plateau in his rehab development. Thus, news of an actual game assignment had Geren calling it "very good news." Jackson, acquired via trade from the D-backs on June 15, played in just 14 games with the A's -- posting a .267 average -- before going down with his second hamstring injury of the season.
Bailey not ready to come off DL
OAKLAND -- Andrew Bailey was officially eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, but the A's closer is taking a couple days off from throwing before resuming his rehab process.Bailey threw from a distance from 60 feet on Wednesday, the first time he played catch since being placed on the disabled list July 30 with a right intercostal (rib) strain. However, "it didn't go as well as we'd like," manager Bob Geren said on Friday. "I'm still feeling it a bit," Bailey said. "I'm hoping a few days off will help, and then I can get going and hopefully help these guys out soon." Bailey, enduring his first career DL stint, has been sidelined since July 20, when he first experienced back spasms during two innings of work against Boston. Those have relieved, but rib pain is still nagging at the 26-year-old reliever and he hopes to be throwing again -- from flat ground, at least -- by Sunday or Monday. "I didn't think it was as serious as it has been," he said. "We want to get it completely right so that it's not too long of a process."
Suspended A's prospect speaks out
OAKLAND -- Oakland's 2010 29th-round Draft pick was among six Minor Leaguers suspended for 50 games on Thursday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, but Zach Hurley has since voiced his opinion on the decision and plans "to go to war over this."The Ohio State product, 23, was punished for using methylhexaneamine, a substance intended to be used as a nasal decongestant. Hurley, who was playing for short-season Vancouver, told the Dayton Daily News that he took an over-the-counter supplement known as "Jack" as a pre-workout remedy, but insists no banned substances were on the label. "Basically, this is the most devastating blow I've received in my entire life besides losing my grandfather," Hurley told the Daily News. "I'm going to do whatever I have to do to get this mark off my name. I've lived my whole life doing everything the right way. Now I'm going to have this stigma. It's heartbreaking. I can't believe this is seriously taking place right now." Hurley plans on filing a formal appeal. The outfielder was batting .271 in 19 games for Vancouver at the time of his suspension. "I feel like I'm having a dream stripped away from me for no reason," he said. "It really is upsetting."
Rosales gets first crack at DH
OAKLAND -- He's already started at five defensive positions this season, but on Friday Adam Rosales added another responsibility to his resume, as he hit fifth as the starting designated hitter against the Rangers."Any way I can get in the lineup," Rosales said. It marked the first time Rosales started as a designated hitter since his Minor League days. Given Jack Cust's recent struggles -- he's batting .214 with 18 strikeouts over his past nine games -- the right-handed-hitting Rosales got the nod against one of baseball's toughest lefties, Cliff Lee. "You definitely got to give [Lee] a lot of credit," Rosales said. "He's definitely a great pitcher. It's strange. It's almost like other guys have better stuff, but Cliff Lee seems to come at guys. He's very aggressive and he doesn't waste any pitches on balls. He attacks hitters, and that's what makes him a great pitcher." Entering play on Friday, Lee had as many complete games [seven] as he did unintentional walks. Rosales is 1-for-6 career against Lee, with the lone hit being a double last season when Rosales played with the Reds and Lee was with Cleveland. Rosales went 0-for-3 against Lee on July 27 in Texas. "I guess it's a lot like pinch-hitting, for me at least," Rosales said. "I feel pretty comfortable pinch-hitting now." Rosales is 3-for-10 with a home run as a pinch-hitter this year. Also joining Rosales in the starting lineup was Matt Carson, who batted eighth and started in right. It marked Carson's first start since Sunday.
Breslow holds charity fundraiser
OAKLAND -- Roughly 160 friends and guests of A's reliever Craig Breslow gathered at the Anchor Steam Brewery on Wednesday in San Francisco to help raise funds for Breslow's Strike 3 Foundation, which benefits childhood cancer research."It went really well," Breslow said. "A bunch of teammates came out to support me and support the cause and everybody had a good time." Breslow said the event raised $12,000-$14,000. Supporters got a tour of the brewery, enjoyed appetizers and a guest speaker appearance by Jeff Ma. Ma was part of the famed MIT blackjack team that served as an inspiration for the movie "21." Ma gave supporters insight on how to count cards and other casino tricks on blackjack tables set up at the event. Breslow, being a Yale grad himself, took a liking to Ma's presentation. "I don't count cards, but I think it's an incredibly interesting subject," Breslow said. "Especially being able to listen to a card-counting expert and realize that to those guys it's not gambling, it's math."
Boof Bonser made his A's debut Friday night, pitching one scoreless inning of relief against the Rangers. ... Mark Ellis was hitless Friday night and is now 7-for-47 (.149) over his last 14 games. The A's second baseman is batting .210 at home compared to .306 on the road. ... On Saturday, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) legend Randy "The Natural" Couture will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the A's take on the Rangers. Couture will be caught by A's first baseman and die-hard UFC fan Daric Barton.
Jane Lee is a reporter and Alex Espinoza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.