6/15/2014 8:35 P.M. ET
Slumping Donaldson drops in batting order
By Jane Lee and Aaron Leibowitz / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- A slumping Josh Donaldson has temporarily been bumped from the middle of the A's lineup.
Oakland's third baseman batted sixth in Sunday's series finale against the Yankees, snapping a career-worst 0-for-33 streak with an RBI ground-ball single in a 10-5 A's victory.
"It's just a little bit of a change of scenery, which you do from time to time just to mix things up," manager Bob Melvin said. "I talked to him about it last night so he was aware. But he hits two, three and four for us, and it won't be long before he's back."
Donaldson, who last batted sixth on Aug. 19, 2013, has spent the majority of the season hitting third for the first-place A's, racking up a team-leading 17 home runs and 50 RBIs. But his average slipped from .285 to .250 in just two weeks.
Ensuing frustrations amounted to Donaldson's ejection by the home-plate umpire on Saturday, though the infielder maintains he simply asked him a question sans expletives. Melvin confirmed as much.
"That's what happened," Melvin said. "Technically, when you're talking around balls and strikes, it always gives the umpire an avenue to throw you out, but he told you the truth."
Donaldson was a man of few words on Sunday and wasn't necessarily concerned with his move in the lineup. As for whether it could help ease some pressure, he said, "We'll find out. I don't know. We'll see."
After the game, Melvin said of Donaldson's hit: "It's good to see. He gets an RBI on top of it. He's hit a couple balls hard, next time up he hits a ball hard to short. It's a difficult thing to go through. It's one thing if you're not a very good player, it's another thing when you're one of the elite players in the game and you're going through a struggle like that. It wears on you."
Donaldson certainly wasn't looking for any sympathy, at one point saying, "I feel great," but ultimately admitted to growing frustration.
"I'm human," he said.
Reddick slated to begin rehab stint at Triple-A
OAKLAND -- A's outfielder Josh Reddick is expected to begin a brief rehab stint on Tuesday with Triple-A Sacramento before returning from the 15-day disabled list.
Reddick, who hyperextended his right knee banging into the wall in Anaheim on May 31, is eligible to be activated on Monday, but manager Bob Melvin does not want to bring him back prematurely.
"I want him feeling good when he comes back here," Melvin said.
Reddick suggested a three-to-five game assignment should be sufficient. He was scheduled to take batting practice and run with cuts on Sunday before running the bases on Monday.
Both Reddick and Melvin believe live at-bats will serve Reddick well before rejoining the A's.
"He wants to feel good at the plate, get some good at-bats, get some hits," Melvin said. "We want to get him back as soon as possible, but we also want to get him back when he's feeling good at the plate."
The River Cats begin a four-game series on Tuesday in Round Rock, Texas.
Brandon Moss, Craig Gentry and Stephen Vogt continue to split time in right field in Reddick's absence. Moss was in right for Sunday's rubber game against the Yankees.
• A's top prospect Addison Russell is scheduled to report to Double-A Midland on Monday, signaling the end of his rehab from a torn hamstring.
• Right-hander Dan Straily, demoted in May amid ongoing struggles, allowed just one run and struck out nine in seven innings for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, lowering his ERA with the River Cats to 3.55 over seven starts.
• Rehabbing lefty Eric O'Flaherty (Tommy John surgery) threw 1 2/3 innings for Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday, allowing two runs on two hits, including a homer, with one walk and one strikeout. He totaled 23 pitches -- only 11 strikes. O'Flaherty is expected to continue his rehab stint with the River Cats for at least another week.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.