04/23/10 11:27 PM ET
A-Rod fallout doesn't surprise Braden
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
A's call up lefty Kilby to bolster 'pen
OAKLAND -- The A's on Friday bolstered a weakened bullpen by recalling left-handed pitcher Brad Kilby and optioning catcher Landon Powell to Triple-A Sacramento.Kilby offers Oakland another lefty option with Jerry Blevins sidelined due to lower back pain. Blevins, who suffered back spasms while pitching against the Yankees on Wednesday night, was still deemed day-to-day on Friday. The 27-year-old Kilby was cut from the A's 25-man roster just two days before the season began after struggling in 10 Spring Training appearances with a 6.75 ERA. Oakland manager Bob Geren, though, was impressed with the strides Kilby made while wearing a River Cats uniform. In five relief appearances with Sacramento, the lefty compiled a 1.69 ERA. "It looks like he's got his control back," Geren said. "We needed an extra pitcher right now, and we saw pretty good things from him last year." Kilby made his Major League debut with the A's as a September callup last year, going 1-0 with a 0.53 ERA in 11 games (one start). He was 4-2 with two saves and a 2.13 ERA in 45 relief appearances with Sacramento before receiving the big league invitation. Powell, meanwhile, had just recently been recalled from Sacramento on Wednesday when second baseman Mark Ellis was placed on the disabled list with a strained left calf. Powell did not appear in a game with Oakland, where he spent all of last season. The 28-year-old catcher is batting .217 with a home run and two RBIs in six games with the River Cats.
Kouzmanoff moved to sixth spot
OAKLAND -- Mired in a 5-for-33 slump, Kevin Kouzmanoff slid down in the order to the No. 6 spot for the third time this season on Friday.The A's third baseman, who posted a .281 average over his first eight contests with the A's, entered Friday's matchup against the visiting Indians hitting .152. And before garnering an RBI hit in Thursday's game against the Yankees, he had previously struck out six times in two games and was 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position. "It's been a two-week cycle," manager Bob Geren said. "Everyone has good weeks and bad weeks. The important thing is he's had good at-bats every time up there." Kouzmanoff is no stranger to April struggles. He's a career .216 hitter in April -- his lowest mark for any month. Meanwhile, he has a career .270 average from May 1 through the end of the season. Geren isn't too worried about his third baseman, though. He's simply enjoying watching his defensive ways, which he compared to six-time Gold Glove winner Eric Chavez on Friday. "Both show great range and good hands," Geren said. "So far he's been very solid. He's the grinder type of player and not only makes the routine plays, but the highlight plays as well."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.