KANSAS CITY-- Prior to tonight's game against the Kansas City Royals, the Oakland Athletics placed right-handed pitcher Rich Harden on the 15-day disabled list with a muscle strain in his back. The club has recalled left-handed pitcher Ron Flores to take Harden's spot on the 25-man roster.
Harden suffered the injury in the bottom of the fourth inning during his last start on Wednesday at Texas. He was removed from the game after walking Hank Blalock. This marks the second time in his career Harden has been placed on the disabled list. He was placed on the DL on May 15 of last season with a strained left oblique muscle.
The 26-year old Flores was 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA (3er in 8.2ip) in nine relief appearances for Triple-A Sacramento this season, holding opponents to a .156 (5-32) batting average. He was 1-1 with a 9.00 ERA (9er in 9.0ip) with one save in nine appearances for the A's this spring. A 29th round draft pick of the A's in 2000, he made his Major League debut with Oakland last season and did not record a decision in 11 relief appearances (1.04 ERA).