OAKLAND - The A's this morning optioned Tommy Milone to the River Cats and recalled right-handed reliever Evan Scribner for bullpen depth.
Milone had one of his worst starts of the season Friday night, lasting 3 2/3 innings and allowing six runs on a season-high nine hits. With two off days next week, the A's can shuffle their rotation to get by with four starters until mid-August. And with Dan Otero throwing 3 1/3 innings last night in relief of Milone, manager Bob Melvin said the A's didn't want to get caught short in the bullpen this weekend, so Scribner is here.
Melvin said Milone, who hasn't completed four innings in two of his past four starts, "just needs to go down there and do his thing. He went through a little period recently where he hasn't been pitching great, but he's still pretty good. When you're sending a guy like Tommy Milone down it means we have some good pitching."
Melvin said Milone's "command maybe isn't like it was earlier," but added, "We still have a lot of confidence in Tommy. He's still a big part of this team."
Milone said he was "not really" surprised by the move and knows he needs to "be more consistent, stay aggressive. ... I feel like what's been hurting me is being up in the zone so take this time to kind of work on that, throw quality strikes instead of just throwing strikes."
On the other hand, the move took Scribner totally by surprise. The right-hander said he got a call from Melvin this morning at 8:30 telling him to get to Oakland ASAP, so he packed his things and hopped in the car for his third stint with the A's this year.
"I'm pretty good at moving out of hotels by now," Scribner said.
Scribner has a 5.30 ERA in 12 appearances with the A's this year and is 1-1 with a 2.48 in 25 games in Triple-A. He said the River Cats have been using him mostly in a set-up role and he has been using mostly a fastball-curve combination, "trying to keep things simple."
"It's frustrating to be away from the (A's)," Scribner said. "But we have fun down there, too. It's something I think about on a day-to-day basis, but try to stay focused, do my own things, try to get back."
* Here's the A's lineup today against Rangers right-hander Matt Garza:
And the Rangers lineup against A's right-hander Jarrod Parker:
* It's Sogard's first start this season at shortstop, but something you might see more often down the stretch with the addition of Alberto Callaspo and departure of Adam Rosales. When Jed Lowrie gets a day off, or at DH like today, Melvin said Sogard will shift over to short and Callaspo will play second.
Melvin said Sogard has been taking ground balls recently at short in preparation. "We have to get him in there sooner or later, and today's the day," Melvin said.
* Catcher John Jaso said he's "progressing" in his recovery from a concussion, but is still experiencing some symptoms, most notably ringing in his ears when he wakes up "like I was at a rock concert the night before."
Jaso is scheduled to undergo more tests today and said he likely won't accompany the A's on their upcoming road trip to Cincinnati and Toronto. He didn't rule out meeting up with them mid-trip, though, if he improves enough.
* Left-hander Brett Anderson came away from Friday's live BP session feeling well and Melvin said the next step is a simulated game Tuesday in Stockton. Anderson will throw the same amount of pitches -- roughly 30 -- but this time without a protective screen, said Melvin. Anderson's role upon his return hasn't been discussed.
"And I'm not getting too ahead in the scheduling, either, because we want to make sure each and every time that his foot feels OK," Melvin said.
* The A's have lost three in a row for the first time since May. The Rangers have won five straight to close their deficit in the West to 2 ½ games. Parker will try to stop that skid while also having the opportunity to make some history -- he has allowed five or fewer hits in each of his last 11 starts, which equals the longest such streak by an A's pitcher since at least 1916 with at least three innings per outing.
-- Matt Kawahara