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Brandon Hicks called up, Collin Cowgill placed on disabled list

The A’s made a couple transactions today — one expected and one unexpected …

Bartolo Colon was placed on the 15-day disabled list and Tyson Ross was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to start today against the Giants. No surprise there … But the A’s also called up infielder Brandon Hicks and placed Collin Cowgill on the DL with a sprained left ankle. Hicks, 26, is in the lineup at shortstop. He was claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves in March, and he’s hit .272 with 13 homers and 48 RBI in 65 games with Sacramento. The right-handed hitting Hicks homered in four straight games earlier this week, so the A’s are promoting him while he’s hot. A’s manager Bob Melvin said Hicks would see time at shortstop against lefties. Starter Cliff Pennington, a switch hitter, is batting just .160 against left-handers. Hicks also played second base with the River Cats and Melvin said he could be used as a backup at first base.

Melvin said he thinks Cowgill could be ready to return sometime around the period his DL stint ends. But Cowgill was on crutches in the clubhouse before batting practice, so we’ll watch how he progresses …

–Keep an eye on how Melvin uses his bullpen in the late innings today. He said he would try to stay away from Ryan Cook since Cook has thrown each of the past two games. Grant Balfour threw 1 1/3 innings last night but Melvin was expecting him to be available. So Balfour figures to get the ball in a save situation. Brian Fuentes has been battling an ankle issue, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw him in a late-inning situation despite his shakiness of late.

The lineups:
A’s — Crisp CF, Weeks 2B, Reddick RF, Cespedes DH, Gomes LF, Inge 3B, Norris C, Moss 1B, Hicks SS; Ross RHP.

Giants — Blanco CF, Theriot 2B, Cabrera LF, Posey C, Pagan DH, Sandoval 3B, Belt 1B, Schierholtz RF, Crawford SS; Bumgarner LHP.

Joe Stiglich