Daric Barton's June started much better, with four walks Sunday at Texas, a sign that he was starting to see the ball better -- and, Barton pointed out, the fact that he wasn't swinging at borderline pitches meant that he was less likely to get himself out.
Barton then singled in his first at-bat Monday, and in the seventh, he tied the game with a solo homer to right-center, a ball he said just carried and carried. Usually, Barton said, his drives don't go out in that part of the Coliseum, at least not on chilly nights. His 11th inning single on Tuesday night started a game-winning rally for the A's.
"I'm starting to run into some hits," the rookie said Tuesday.
"I've had some good at-bats; I'm getting deep in the count."
Barton had been sharing time at first base with Mike Sweeney, and with Sweeney on the disabled list due to a sore left knee, Jack Hannahan made one start at first base. Barton has started two nights in a row against left-handers, however, which is a distinct change from the past month.
--DH Mike Sweeney said he has damaged cartilage in his left knee similar to the problem he has had in his surgically repaired right knee in recent years. Sweeney received a cortisone shot and will resume activity in a few days. He hopes to be able to come off the disabled list when eligible at the end of next week.
--3B Eric Chavez was back in the Oakland lineup, batting cleanup, on Tuesday after getting a night off on Monday, and he cracked his first home run since July 15, a three-run shot to right off Detroit's Armando Galarraga in the fifth inning. He also walked and singled in the game. Chavez passed Jimmie Dykes on the all-time franchise RBI list, with 765, eighth most in A's history. "He's the Oakland A's, you know what I mean? When you think of the A's, you think of Chavvy, at least I know I do. When he came back, it felt like it was Opening Day." -- A's DH Jack Cust said of Chavez.
--RHP Andrew Brown (appendectomy) said he will begin a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton on Wednesday. Brown had his appendix out two weeks ago, and he could be back in the A's bullpen by the end of the week or early next week. The A's bullpen is thin with Brown, RHP Santiago Casilla and RHP Joey Devine all on the disabled list.
--RHP Joey Devine (elbow strain) said he hopes to be allowed to start light throwing on Wednesday or Thursday. His expected return date if he does not have any setbacks is mid to late June. RHP Santiago Casilla, who is out with a similar injury, is expected to miss about a month, and Devine might be looking at a similar time frame.
--SS Bobby Crosby is second in the American League with 19 doubles. He was denied No. 20 on Monday night when he pulled up after rounding first base on his drive into gap in right-center that sent Kurt Suzuki home from second with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Had Crosby continued to second, the hit would have been scored a double.
BY THE NUMBERS: 12 -- Pickoffs by the A's staff this year, the most in the majors, including a big-league-best seven by left-handed rookie Greg Smith. The AL high for the entire 2007 season was five pickoffs, accomplished by three starters.
We are officially at the quarter mark to the 2008 baseball season. Sure, it has been a relatively…