6/22/2014 11:38 P.M. ET
A's to give Gray extra rest due to off-days
By Andrew Pentis / Special to MLB.com
OAKLAND -- With off-days scheduled for Monday and Thursday during the A's upcoming eight-game road trip, manager Bob Melvin shuffled his starting rotation.
The skipper said before Sunday's homestand finale that he has elected to skip Sonny Gray's turn, giving the second-year right-hander extra rest.
Lefties Scott Kazmir and Brad Mills will start Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, against the New York Mets, and righty Jesse Chavez, Gray and lefty Tommy Milone will take the mound Friday-Sunday vs. the Miami Marlins.
"Just giving Sonny a little bit of a break. Chavvy will get an extra day, too," Melvin said. "We did this a couple times the last few years and potentially [will] consider it with somebody else down the road, too."
Gray last pitched on Wednesday, when he earned his seventh win by topping the Texas Rangers. This means he will be pitching on nine days' rest come Saturday.
The A's ace is at 99 innings pitched in 2014 after compiling 182 1/3 in '13 -- 64 in the Majors and 118 1/3 at Triple-A.
Melvin stressed that Gray being pushed back is nothing more than "cautionary."
The other intriguing aspect of the manager's pitching schedule is that Mills will stick around. The 29-year-old left-hander pitched four solid innings on Friday after being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers for $1 on Tuesday.
Blanks exits game due to left calf strain
OAKLAND -- A's slugger Kyle Blanks left Sunday's 7-6 loss against the Red Sox due to a left calf strain.
The right-handed-hitting Blanks started at first base for Oakland but reinjured his calf while on the basepaths. Soon after hitting a single in the second inning off of Boston lefty Jon Lester, Blanks attempted to score from third base on a ground ball deep in the hole. He was thrown out by shortstop Jonathan Herrera and appeared to be limping as he made his way to the dugout.
Blanks, who first looked uncomfortable after running the basepaths on Friday night, is batting .309 in 21 games since being traded to the A's from the San Diego Padres. He was replaced in Sunday's contest by Brandon Moss, the man he's been part of a platoon with at first.
• Regarding Saturday's game-changing call in the eighth inning, when home-plate umpire Quinn Wolcott ruled that Mike Napoli's two-strike foul tip hit the ground before entering the glove of A's catcher Stephen Vogt, Melvin explained baseball's protocol for discussing controversial rulings after the fact. He said he spoke with an MLB official after the game on Saturday.
"[Executive vice president of baseball operations] Joe Torre, [senior vice president of baseball operations] Peter Woodfork, those guys are on call all the time," he said. "So it's not something where [you] file something or send something in or make a call and hear back later. Usually, you talk to them right away."
Melvin implied that he wouldn't be surprised if MLB expanded replay to include foul-tip calls at home plate given the league's in-season amending of the transfer rule.
• Right fielder Josh Reddick, rehabbing a hyperextended right knee, went 4-for-5 with two doubles for Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday night. He could rejoin the A's as early as Tuesday in New York.
• Catcher Derek Norris (bruised left forearm) was back in the starting lineup on Sunday after exiting Friday's game when he was struck by a foul tip.
"He could have played [Saturday], at least hit," Melvin said.
• Vogt started again in right field on Sunday, partly because Melvin wanted to rest Brandon Moss, who was available off of the bench.
"Brandon Moss hasn't had a day off in a long time," the skipper said. "He's had a long stretch, and Stephen's been swinging the bat well."
• Center fielder Coco Crisp, the late-inning hero of the wins on Friday and Saturday, was also on the bench Sunday. Melvin revealed that his leadoff hitter was feeling under the weather on Saturday. Then he stroked a walk-off single in the 10th inning.
"I'm sure it's very unpopular that he's not in the lineup on 'Coco Gnome Day,'" Melvin said. "Sometimes that's the way it goes."
• Crisp went out of his way to compliment reserve infielder Nick Punto for his 10th-inning sacrifice bunt that pushed Alberto Callaspo to second before Crisp's big hit.
"I wish there were assists in this game," he said. "That would definitely be one heck of an assist right there."
• A's starting pitchers started taking batting practice this weekend. Three of Melvin's five hurlers caught his eye: "Tommy Milone is a guy that has a track record; Sonny Gray thinks that he has quite the chance to be successful; Kazmir [is] a little sneaky, so we'll see."
• The A's participated in a bowling tournament after the game on Saturday night. Norris was seen brandishing a second-place trophy in the clubhouse. Melvin estimated that his catcher, who has come up just short of 300-games in the past, bowled a "260-something." Pitching coach Curt Young was also complimented for his abilities between the lanes.
Andrew Pentis is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.