5/25/2014 1:10 P.M. ET
A's face tough schedule after road stretch
By Jane Lee / MLB.com
TORONTO -- A banged-up A's team is finally heading home, but there's no rest for the weary.
Following a nine-game road swing with stops in Cleveland, Tampa and Toronto, the A's head west again for a challenging seven-game homestand with the Tigers and Angels, before hitting the road again for their fourth straight three-city trip that will put them in New York, Baltimore and Anaheim.
Less than two weeks later, they will go back to New York for an Interleague meeting with the Mets, followed by a pair of three-game series in Miami and Detroit.
Such routes hardly make sense. Yet, year after year, West Coast teams like the A's are subjected to them.
"It is difficult," said manager Bob Melvin. "It's on the schedule and you know it ahead of time, but it doesn't make it any easier. It seems like every time we travel, we're going to the east. It's five hours when we leave home, and five-plus when we come back.
"We're always going somewhere that's going to be three-plus to five hours. Couple that with three-city trips, where you're going somewhere, then you go somewhere else and fly right back through the place you started to get to somewhere else, it does take a toll on you."
Punto likely to miss two games with calf strain
TORONTO -- Infielder Nick Punto was not in the lineup in the final game of the A's three-game series in Toronto while nursing a left calf strain he sustained Friday.
Punto took part in limited pregame activities and is likely to be held out of Monday's lineup against the Tigers, too, with a Memorial Day afternoon contest scheduled following a lengthy flight back from Canada on Sunday night.
"We'll evaluate him once again when we get home tomorrow," manager Bob Melvin said Sunday morning. "He feels a little better, but it's tough to really get a grasp on it until he really takes off."
The A's still believe Punto will not need to go on the disabled list.
"He seems to think so, but I think a guy like him is usually a little more enthusiastic about that," said Melvin. "But I'd like to think we can avoid it. I'm just not 100 percent sure."
• After playing five straight games on artificial turf, outfielder Josh Reddick received the day off Sunday. Melvin also wanted to stack his lineup with righties against left-hander J.A. Happ.
Reddick was just 5-for-30 on the road trip, after collecting just as many hits in his previous 18 at-bats.
• Rehabbing lefty Eric O'Flaherty (Tommy John surgery) threw 15 pitches, including some sliders, in a simulated game in extended spring training on Saturday, putting him that much closer to a rehab assignment.
"He threw really well," said Melvin. "They said the ball was moving pretty good, and he felt good about it."
• Right-hander Ryan Cook, stationed on the disabled list with a forearm strain, is expected to throw a bullpen session during this week's homestand.