KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Brandon McCarthy was reinstated from the disabled list on Saturday and made the start for the A's in the middle game of the team's series with the Royals.
McCarthy had been on the DL with a strained right shoulder and had not made a start since May 17. Before heading to the DL, McCarthy was in the midst of a strong start to the season. In nine starts, his record was just 3-3, but he boasted an ERA of 2.95. He's only allowed more than two earned runs in a game twice.
Manager Bob Melvin said it was the perfect time for his team to get one of their top arms back.
"It means a lot. You have a guy that's your Opening Day starter, goes on the DL, a guy that we lean on pretty hard, heavily," Melvin said. "Confidence-wise, as a team, we feel great every time he takes the mound. Probably a pretty welcome time to get him back."
To make room for McCarthy, the A's optioned first baseman Daric Barton to Triple-A Sacramento. Barton has appeared in 37 games this season, but is batting just .198 with one home run and four RBIs.
Melvin chalked up the decision to option Barton to the fact that neither of his first basemen was getting a regular amount of playing time. Now that Barton is heading back to Sacramento, Kila Ka'aihue will get the majority of the playing time at first base.
"It was difficult getting a lot of consistent at-bats for whoever was playing over there," Melvin said. "Kila's probably done a little bit more offensively to deserve a shot. I think [it's important] showing support and confidence in him that [he's] earned [his] way to this point. It's been quite a road for him. The guy that was [forecast] to be the first guy out of here, as far as the first basemen, at this point is the guy that's still here.
"Daric could probably use some at-bats in the Minor Leagues, under a little less scrutiny and the pressure of the big leagues, not being in there every day and so forth. It probably serves him well to go down there and take a little pressure off him."
Weeks day to day with left hip strain
KANSAS CITY -- Second baseman Jemile Weeks left Saturday's game against the Royals with a left hip strain. He is listed as day to day.
After singling in the top of the seventh inning, Weeks attempted to steal second base during Josh Reddick's at-bat. Reddick fouled the pitch off, and Weeks returned to first. Reddick walked on the next pitch, and manager Bob Melvin and assistant athletic trainer Walt Horn came out and talked with Weeks. Weeks left the game at the end of the discussion and was replaced by pinch-runner Adam Rosales.
Melvin said that he would wait and see before determining Weeks' status for Sunday's series finale in Kansas City.
"I'm not worried about it," Weeks said. "It'll be a group decision. But, as far as me, if it's time to play, I'll be ready to play."
Weeks had a great afternoon before departing, going 1-for-2 with a triple, two walks and two runs scored in the A's 9-3 win over the Royals.
Weeks has a history of injuries to his left hip. He suffered multiple left hip strains throughout his Minor League career.
A's looking for way out of slide
KANSAS CITY -- The A's were in the midst of a nine-game losing skid entering Saturday's game at Kauffman Stadium. But they don't have to look too far to find a club that has shared similar struggles this season.
The Royals lost 12-straight games earlier this season, but they have since snapped out of it and entered Saturday having won five of their last six.
Friday's starter, Bartolo Colon, said that the Royals are a perfect example of how to turn things around.
"The good example is Kansas City in the beginning of this season, when they lost 12 games in a row," Colon said. "We just have to continue to do the same job and the team will try to do better."
Manager Bob Melvin wasn't ready to use the Royals as a model, and said that the fact that other teams had losing streaks doesn't make him feel good about his team's recent slide.
"I think every team over the course of the season is going to go through a losing streak, to what degree I don't know," Melvin said. "You certainly don't look at that and say, 'Oh, OK, that's something to fall back on.' It's about us. We have to get out of this on our own. Whether it makes somebody feel better or not because somebody else had a losing streak, it really doesn't make me feel any better."
A's tenure in Kansas City remembered
KANSAS CITY -- With the A's in town, the Royals found it a fitting time to honor the franchise that used to call Kansas City home.
Saturday featured a salute to the Kansas City A's at Kauffman Stadium, recognizing former players -- including pitchers Lew Krause and Diego Segui -- and groundskeeper George Toma. Another former Kansas City Athletic, pitcher Bill Fischer, served as the Royals' temporary bullpen coach on Friday and Saturday.
The A's had a relatively short stay in Kansas City. They moved there from Philadelphia in 1955 and left for Oakland following the 1967 season. Poor finishes plagued the A's tenure in Missouri. The team never finished higher than sixth place.
Saturday's salute also featured former team mascot, Charlie O. the mule, getting honored. A Missouri mule donned Charlie O.'s original blanket in tribute to the famous mascot, and fans had the opportunity to snap pictures with the mule. Fans also received retro Kansas City A's caps as a promotional giveaway.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.