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A’s notes: Next up for Rich Hill is Stockton start

Marcus Semien's durability was compared by manager Bob Melvin to that of Cal Ripken.

Marcus Semien’s durability was compared by manager Bob Melvin to that of Cal Ripken.

OAKLAND _ Rich Hill was impressive enough in a simulated game session Wednesday morning to get within a step of being back on the active roster. Continue Reading

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Sonny Gray seems to be closing in on an elusive win

Sonny Gray (center) hasn't won a game since April, but he says he's getting that winning feeling back.

Sonny Gray (center) hasn’t won a game since April, but he says he’s getting that winning feeling back.

It’s been nine starts for Sonny Gray without getting a win.

And that doesn’t include the 15 days he spent on the disabled list.

You have to go back to April 22 when Gray beat Toronto to improve to 3-1 that he last put up a win. He didn’t get the win his last time out against Texas, and he didn’t get the win Tuesday against the Brewers.

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Alcantara latest burst of versatility to join A’s

Arismendy Alcantara was called up by the A's for the first time Tuesday.

Arismendy Alcantara was called up by the A’s for the first time Tuesday.

The A’s took another dip into their minor league system Tuesday, calling up infielder/outfielder Arismendy Alcantara from Triple-A Nashville to bring the club more versatility.

Originally signed by the Cubs out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, the 24-year-old Alcantara was picked up by the A’s about two weeks ago in a trade that sent Chris Coghlan to Chicago. He’s the current Pacific Coast League leader in steals, perfect on all 26 of his attempts.

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Billy Beane trying to find a fix for A’s injury woes

Billy Beane has his hands full looking for solutions to the A's injury epidemic.

Billy Beane has his hands full looking for solutions to the A’s injury epidemic.

It’s a given that medical dramas will always have a strong appeal to television viewers.

It’s less so for watchers of baseball. Hospital trips get in the way of plot lines rather than sustaining them. The injured party may be the center of attention on the small screen, but the player is simply out of the picture in baseball.

Nowhere is that more evident than in Oakland, where the A’s are in the words of executive vice president Billy Beane “living under the shadow of this injury epidemic.’’

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Henderson Alvarez shoulder problems crop up again; A’s shut down his rehabilitation assignment for second time

Henderson Alvarez had hoped to join A's rotation this week. He won't.

Henderson Alvarez had hoped to join A’s rotation this week. He won’t.

The riddle that is Henderson Alvarez’s right shoulder jumped back into the forefront with the A’s Sunday with the news that he had more shoulder pain during what was supposed to be his final injury rehabilitation assignment start Saturday night in Nashville.

After pitching three innings without difficulty, Alvarez went out to start the fourth inning against Round Rock and felt a recurrence of the shoulder pain that has plagued him off and on. He had shoulder surgery last July and then in what was supposed to be his last rehab start May 15 had to be shut down after five innings.

“He was feeling some pain,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “We’ve shut him down. Unfortunately when we have him right on the verge of getting him back here, something pops up.

“It’s a setback. Is it worse? That’s tough to tell. He said there was pain in the shoulder. He was aware enough to stop. But where we go from here, we’re not sure yet.’’

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A’s cannot ‘solve’ Tim Lincecum, lose to Angels 7-1

Los Angeles Angels' Tim Lincecum pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, June 18, 2016. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

Tim Lincecum allows one run over six innings in his Angels debut on Saturday at the Coliseum. (Jim Gensheimer/Bay Area News Group)

OAKLAND — A’s manager Bob Melvin countered Tim Lincecum’s season debut with an assembly line of pitchers Saturday.

But, collectively, they were no match for the newest Angel.

Solo home runs by Mike Trout and Johnny Giavotella erased an A’s lead in the fourth inning, and the Angels erupted for five runs in the sixth on their way to a 7-1 victory before an announced crowd of 25,078 at the Coliseum.

Lincecum, who generated plenty of cheers from a mix of Angels and Giants fans, allowed one run and four hits over six innings in his first big league game not in orange and black.

“We couldn’t solve him,” Melvin said. “Give him credit.”

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A’s pitcher Kendall Graveman doesn’t get win, but goes season-best seven strong innings in 3-2 win over Angels

Kendall Graveman threw seven innings and gave up one run against the Angels.

Kendall Graveman threw seven innings and gave up one run against the Angels.

OAKLAND _ For a brief moment, A’s pitcher Kendall Graveman had a win he richly deserved Friday night. Then he didn’t.

As it turned out, the A’s got the win anyway, beating the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on a ninth-inning RBI single by Billy Burns, but Graveman ended up with a no decision after pitching his best game of the season before a fireworks night crowd of 24,591 at the Coliseum. Continue Reading

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A’s struggle to fill Saturday starting slot; it won’t be Alvarez

Henderson Alvarez will pitch Saturday, but for Nashville and not A's.

Henderson Alvarez will pitch Saturday, but for Nashville and not A’s.

The A’s still don’t have a listed starter for Saturday, but they know who won’t be starting against the Angels – Henderson Alvarez.

Not that the subject hasn’t come up. Alvarez will join Triple-A Nashville Saturday for what is expected to be his final injury rehabilitation start, an expected 70-pitch stint. So the A’s did think briefly about skipping Nashville and plugging Alvarez into the Oakland rotation.

Ultimately they decided that was tempting fate. A month ago when Alvarez was making what was then thought to be his final injury rehab start, he felt some discomfort in his shoulder and had to be shut down for over a week, then get gradually built back up.

“It has crossed our minds,’’ manager Bob Melvin said. “But at this point that’s not going to be the case. Based on what happened last time he really needs to get to that threshold. Trust me, I’d love to do it, even if we knew it was going to be 70 pitches. It would be really exciting and he’d be excited about it, too.

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