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A’s to go with 4-man starting rotation to begin second half; Bassitt sent down, Otero up; Gray to start vs. Twins Friday

Sonny Gray will get the ball when the A's come back from the A;;-Star break Friday in Oakland against Minnesota.

Sonny Gray will get the ball when the A’s come back from the A;;-Star break Friday in Oakland against Minnesota.

The A’s will go with a four-man starting rotation to begin the second half of the season.

Thanks to having a day off Monday, July 20, the A’s are set to go with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Jesse Chavez and Kendall Graveman twice around before needing a fifth man to enter the picture.

When it does on July 25, the name you’ll see will almost certainly be that of Chris Bassitt, even though he was sent down Sunday to Triple-A Nashville. Bassitt is scheduled to pitch July 19 for Nashville and would be fully rested should the A’s call his name.

There remains a remote chance that Jesse Hahn, on the disabled list with right forearm tightness, could be ready, but Oakland isn’t counting on that. He’s in the middle of taking two weeks off from throwing to rest his right arm before moving back onto the field.

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Holy Toledo! A’s Bassitt king for a day in Cleveland

Chris Bassitt, from Toledo, was basically pitching at home in Cleveland Saturday. He didn't get the win, but it was a good night.

Chris Bassitt, from Toledo, was basically pitching at home in Cleveland Saturday. He didn’t get the win, but it was a good night.

The second-largest crowd of the season was in Progressive Field Saturday to watch the A’s and the Indians and some post-game fireworks.

Through it all, one voice stood out for Oakland starting pitcher Chris Bassitt. He estimated that he had 50-75 family and friends from Toledo in the crowd.

“I could hear my mom (Dawn),’’ Bassitt said. “I don’t know why. Everyone else was just noise.’’

Bassitt is making some noise of his own. He’s made three starts in the last two weeks as a fill-in for injured pitchers, subbing for Jesse Hahn Saturday night after back-to-back starts when Sonny Gray wasn’t able to pitch.

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A’s recall outfielder Smolinski, Bassitt back to Nashville

The A’s have called up outfielder Jake Smolinski as expected, just two weeks removed from claiming him off waivers from the Texas Rangers.

The right-handed hitter, who was hitting .432 with a .458 on-base percentage and nine RBI at Triple-A Nashville, takes the spot of Chris Bassitt, who has been returned to Nashville after filling in for two starts for Sonny Gray, who returns to the Oakland starting rotation Tuesday in New York.

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Bassitt gives A’s a boost, likely to be replaced by Smolinski; Rodriguez shows up big with A’s missing ailing Abad

Chris Bassitt gave the A's another strong start, but he'll be heading back to Nashville with another loss thanks to lack of support.

Chris Bassitt gave the A’s another strong start, but he’ll be heading back to Nashville with another loss thanks to lack of support.

Chris Bassitt will back on the roster of the Triple-A Nashville Sounds any moment now.

There was nothing he could do to change that. Sonny Gray was ill, the A’s needed someone to step in and Bassitt, who had hoped to make the starting rotation out of spring training, answered the call.

He pitched five innings against Colorado, allowing one run, and 5.2 innings against Seattle, allowing two runs. The A’s lost the first game 2-1. The A’s lost the second, 2-1.

Even if Bassitt had won both, he was going back down, because Gray has recovered from this salmonella-inspired illness and will start Tuesday in New York against the Yankees. It’s expected that outfielder Jake Smolinski will get the call to fill his roster spot.

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Gray back with A’s, but a longshot to start Sunday vs. M’s; disabled list stint could be possible for likely All-Star

Sonny Gray seems unlikely to start Sunday after battling a case of salmonella

Sonny Gray seems unlikely to start Sunday after battling a case of salmonella

The A’s will be very careful with Sonny Gray, who is back with the team after suffering through a case of salmonella that had him in a hospital for two nights, and he is a longshot to be the Oakland starter Sunday in the series finale with the Mariners.

Gray said before Thursday’s game with Seattle that he was back to feeling mostly well for the first time since Sunday when the symptoms of dehydration and fever that first cropped up Saturday became serious.

Manager Bob Melvin and trainer Nick Paparesta both said the club would not be rushing Gray back into the rotation. His spot comes up again Sunday, and as it stands now, Chris Bassitt will start in Gray’s place. Bassitt stepped in as emergency starter Tuesday and allowed Colorado one run in five innings, although he took the loss.

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Gray has gastroenteritis, could be out of hospital soon

Sonny Gray was still in the hospital with gastroenteritis Wednesday afternoon, but was expected to get released later in the day or Thursday.

Sonny Gray was still in the hospital with gastroenteritis Wednesday afternoon, but was expected to get released later in the day or Thursday.

Sonny Gray remained in the hospital midday Wednesday with a severe case of bacterial gastroenteritis with the A’s hoping he could be released Wednesday evening or sometime Thursday.

Gray, who was scratched from Tuesday’s start after being hospitalized, would next be scheduled to start Sunday, but the A’s can’t say if he’ll be ready to start then, so Chris Bassitt, who threw five one-run innings after being called up from Triple-A Nashville Tuesday, will be kept around to start if Gray can’t.

The pitcher, who had a high fever that is now under control, is being hydrated and given antibiotics to battle the problem and manager Bob Melvin said Gray was feeling better Wednesday than he had Tuesday.

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Bassitt’s move across mound helps get him back to the bigs

It’s too soon to tell if moving from the third base side of the pitching rubber to the right side will change Chris Bassitt’s career, but the move has helped him get back to the big leagues with the A’s.

Bassitt was called up Thursday to be the long man in the A’s bullpen, taking the job held for one night by Arnold Leon, who was returned to Triple-A Nashville with Bassitt rested enough to take over the job.

The White sox moved Bassitt to the third base side of the mound last year, but come this spring, Bassitt found he wasn’t able to throw well enough inside to left-handed batters, so he moved back.

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A’s probably need to send Alvarez down to bring up fresh arm

R.J. Alvarez

R.J. Alvarez

Until Tuesday, R.J. Alvarez had done reasonable well as a middle-inning reliever for the A’s.

Alvarez, picked up with Jesse Hahn from the Padres in the trade of catcher Derek Norris this off-season, had pitched five innings in five games for Oakland. He’d been dinged for a pair of homers, but not much else.

But Wednesday morning he’s likely to get dinged again. Work probably will come that he’s being sent to Triple-A Nashville so that the A’s can bring up a fresh arm, probably Chris Bassitt, who pitched Saturday for the Sounds and threw 4.2 innings in relief.

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Bassitt saw demotion coming after spring struggles

Chris Bassitt will have to sort out his game at Triple-A to start the season

Chris Bassitt will have to sort out his game at Triple-A to start the season

One of the reasons that the A’s were willing to trade Jeff Samardzija to the White Sox is that they were getting back a pitcher in whom they had great expectations, Chris Bassitt.

Things didn’t go as planned in Bassitt’s first spring with Oakland, and Sunday morning with still a week left before the season starts, Bassitt was sent down to Triple-A Nashville.

He began as part of a four-man newcomers’ competition to nail down two spots in the starting rotation. Sean Nolin was the first to bow out because he never recovered from an off-season sports hernia surgery. That left Bassitt pitted against Jesse Hahn and Kendall Graveman.

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