Although Eric O’Flaherty blew the save in Oakland’s 5-4 walk-off loss in Monday night’s series opener, his return from a lower back strain, coupled with Sean Doolittle’s expected return from a strained right intercostal later in the week, is good news for the A’s. They could use the help, considering that the starting staff boasts a 4.46 ERA since July 28. Meanwhile, Oakland’s bullpen ranks third in the majors with a 2.84 ERA.
Left fielder Dustin Ackley was out of the lineup Monday and scheduled to have an MRI on his sore left ankle. Ackley had surgery to remove bone spurs in his left foot shortly after the 2012 season. This doesn’t sound as serious.
“We won’t know for sure until they get in and see,” Ackley said. “It doesn’t seem like it’s anything crazy other than maybe just a little inflammation or something like that.”
Ackley hasn’t played since being taken out of Saturday’s game against the Rangers. He made a sliding catch that night that might have exacerbated the soreness. In 2014, he’s posted a .251 batting average with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs in 130 games.
Interim manager Tim Bogar was the “quality assurance coach” with the Rays in 2008, crunching information and data on opposing hitters so Tampa Bay could implement the drastic defensive shifts that have become the rage in baseball. But Bogar said he appreciated predecessor Ron Washington’s approach to the game.
“What Ron trusted was his eye and his 44 years of experience,” Bogar said. “He wasn’t against numbers. He used him. But he wasn’t going to let them overrule what his eyes tell him. A good manager does that.”
Compiled by Rachel Lister from wire reports.