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Dillon Overton ready for a second crack at A’s rotation

Lefty Dillon Overton returns to the A's rotation Tuesday against Houston.

Lefty Dillon Overton returns to the A’s rotation Tuesday against Houston.

Dillon Overton will be coming off a long break to jump back into the A’s starting rotation Tuesday against the Astros.

The A’s rookie lefty had been preparing for a Monday start for Triple-A Nashville, but his ticket to Oakland got punched when Rich Hill came out of his Sunday start after throwing just five pitches thanks to a blister. Tuesday’s original starter, Sean Manaea, wound up throwing five innings of relief against the Blue Jays.

The Nashville Sounds were just getting back from the Triple-A All-Star break, so Overton said he had only thrown a pair of bullpen sessions in the last week when he got the word Sunday he was Oakland-bound.

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The pain of it all: Rich Hill sidelined by blister, replacement Andrew Triggs takes liner off leg, so Sean Manaea in for A’s

 Rich Hill came out of Sunday's start after just five pitches when his blister problems returned.

Rich Hill came out of Sunday’s start after just five pitches when his blister problems returned.

The curious saga of Rich Hill took a strange twist Sunday when he was lifted from his start against the Blue Jays after having thrown just five pitches.

The A’s had held Hill out of a scheduled start Friday because of a blister, and he’d thrown a hard bullpen session that day without any problem from the blister. But on a 3-1 pitch to Devon Travis that was fouled off, the blister cropped back up again.

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Rich Hill isn’t pulling a Scott Kazmir, at least not yet

It was 51 weeks ago that Scott Kazmir reported to the Coliseum ready to start for the A's only to learn that he'd been traded to Houston.

It was 51 weeks ago that Scott Kazmir reported to the Coliseum ready to start for the A’s only to learn that he’d been traded to Houston.

It was 51 weeks ago on a Thursday afternoon that media coming into the A’s clubhouse before an afternoon game against the Blue Jays were treated to the odd sight of Scott Kazmir sitting in street clothes in the office of A’s manager Bob Melvin.

Kazmir, who’d rebuilt his career with the A’s, was supposed to be Oakland’s starting pitcher that day. Instead, the A’s traded him to Houston in a deal that netted the A’s pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham.

Kazmir is now with the Dodgers. Mengden is now in the A’s rotation. Nottingham is now with Double-A Biloxi in the Brewers’ organization while the player the A’s got from Milwaukee in trading him, Khris Davis, is the A’s current home run leader.

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Rich Hill comes full circle in start against Blue Jays

 Rich Hill's rise to prominence began with 4-3 win over Blue Jays last September in Toronto.

Rich Hill’s rise to prominence began with 4-3 win over Blue Jays last September in Toronto.

You could say the game that turned it around for Rich Hill was a 4-3 win over the Blue Jays last year in Toronto on Sept. 20.

Then he was just a guy fresh out of the independent leagues, lucky to have caught on with the Red Sox with Boston needing any able-armed starting pitcher the Sox could find. Now he’s the best starting pitcher on the free agent market and arguably one of the best starters in the game.

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Trade machine, or at least trade rumor machine, heats up

Rich Hill would like to stay with the A's, but it's likely he'll be traded in the next two weeks.

Rich Hill would like to stay with the A’s, but it’s likely he’ll be traded in the next two weeks.

The A’s will have no shortage of suitors in the next two weeks.

Whether anything comes of those inquiries or not is anybody’s guess, but there are post-season contenders with needs and the A’s have some of the goods.

And that’s before starter Sonny Gray and right fielder Josh Reddick, both of whom are highly coveted but both of whom the A’s would like to keep.

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Josh Donaldson has spread his wings since leaving the A’s; History Channel spotlights him in `The Vikings’ in August

Josh Donaldson hasn't stopped hitting since moving to the Blue Jays, and he's a part-time actor, too.

Josh Donaldson hasn’t stopped hitting since moving to the Blue Jays, and he’s a part-time actor, too.

Josh Donaldson felt almost at home in the Coliseum before Friday’s A’s-Blue Jays game.

Sitting on the couch of equipment manager Steve Vucinich, the third baseman caught up with members of the organization with which he rose to national prominence in 2012-14.

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Ryon Healy arrives and Billy Burns is demoted, so Danny Valencia, Coco Crisp can count on seeing diminished time

The A’s will begin  the second half of the season resculpting their lineup, beginning with Friday’s move to send down center fielder Billy Burns and promote 2013 third-round draft pick Ryon Healy, who is the club’s new third baseman.

The moves mean Healy is the new third baseman, with Danny Valencia relegated to part-time work as a first baseman against left-handed pitching and an occasional designated hitter.

And while Burns is gone, that doesn’t mean more playing time for the other center fielder, Coco Crisp. Instead, manager Bob Melvin the plan is to see if Jake Smolinski is up to getting regular work in center field for the 38-51 A’s.

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Ryan Madson can’t hold on for Sean Manaea

Ryan Madson couldn't close out what would have been an impressive win for Sean Manaea Sunday.

Ryan Madson couldn’t close out what would have been an impressive win for Sean Manaea Sunday.

The A’s opportunity to finish the first half with a flourish fizzled Sunday in Houston when the bullpen and the defense allowed the Astros to rally for a 2-1 10-inning victory and a split of the four-game series.

Liam Hendriks, asked to pitch the 10th inning after Ryan Madson had blown a save in the ninth, had a chance to get out of the 10th with a man at third base and two out, but a Carlos Correa grounder to third saw Danny Valencia’s throw pull Yonder Alonso off first base as Jake Marisnick scored the winning run.

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Ryan Dull qualifies for more late-inning A’s work

Ryan Dull decided to go clean shaven after getting a save but losing a streak Saturday.

Ryan Dull decided to go clean shaven after getting a save but losing a streak Saturday.

Ryan Dull, who had pitched the entire first half while wearing a close-cropped goatee, showed up in the A’s clubhouse clean shaven Sunday morning, just hours after he’d earned his first save of the season while seeing his streak of on allowing inherited runners to score ended.

He said there was no correlation between the baseball and his facial hair.

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