Geren, Fuentes try putting drama behind them; Balfour new A’s closer

A’s manager Bob Geren and reliever Brian Fuentes cleared the air in a pregame conversation inside Geren’s office Tuesday. Both say they’re trying to leave the drama created by Fuentes’ harsh comments Monday night behind them. Fuentes said he was frustrated that prior conversations with Geren regarding his role in the bullpen didn’t solve anything, but in retrospect, he thinks he was wrong to air it out to reporters. “I definitely meant what I said, but I went about it wrong.” Fuentes didn’t share details of the conversation, but said: “It was a positive discussion on both ends. I think we both understand how each other feel.”

Geren said he requested the meeting with Fuentes after reading Fuentes’ comments criticizing Geren’s communication with him over how he’s being used. “I gave him my thoughts, he gave me his thoughts. Everything’s good. We shook hands. Everything’s fine.”

Geren did say that he’s switching to Grant Balfour as his closer for now. Fuentes is 1-7 with a 5.06 ERA and has taken the loss in his last four appearances, entering a tie game each time. “I told Brian that until he strings a few good outings in a row that I would stick with Balfour for now,” Geren said.

I’ll have more on this in tomorrow’s paper. Here’s the lineups:

A’s – Crisp CF, Barton 1B, Willingham LF, Matsui DH, Suzuki C, DeJesus RF, Ellis 2B, LaRoche 3B, Pennington SS; Moscoso RHP.

Angels – Izturis 2B, Aybar SS, Abreu DH, Hunter RF, Callaspo 3B, Trumbo 1B, Conger C, Amarista LF, Bourjos CF; Haren RHP.

Joe Stiglich