Depleted A's Staff Gets Boost With Moves

The Oakland A's pitching staff, taxed heavily by a 15-inning marathon game on Sunday, received a boost on Monday with the addition of two relatively fresh arms: right-hander Sean Gallagher and left-hander Jerry Blevins. To make room for Gallagher and Blevins, Eric Patterson and Gio Gonzalez were sent to Triple-A Sacramento.

The Oakland A's were looking at a full week's slate of games and a tired pitching staff, so they made the move to bring back two pitchers who were on the team's Opening Day roster but who had been sent down to Triple-A earlier in the year: Sean Gallagher and Jerry Blevins. To make room for Gallagher and Blevins, the A's sent Gio Gonzalez (who was with the team for only two days) and Eric Patterson (who joined the team only last week) back to Triple-A Sacramento.

Gallagher was sent down to Triple-A on April 23rd. A starting pitcher most of last season, Gallagher began the year in the A's bullpen, but had made only three appearances during the season's first three-plus weeks before his demotion. He was inserted into the River Cats' rotation with the thought that he would be stretched out to a starter's pitch count. However, he made only two appearances with Sacramento before need necessitated that the A's bring back Gallagher.

In his first outing for Sacramento, Gallagher went three innings and didn't allow a hit. He walked one and struck-out four. His next start came on May 1st and he was scheduled to throw as much as five innings. However, rain interrupted the game after only two innings. He didn't allow a hit in those two innings, walking two and striking out three. Because of the shortened start, Gallagher should be available out of the A's bullpen tonight if the team needs him.

Jerry Blevins was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento in mid-April after he allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning for the A's. He has appeared in six games for Sacramento since the demotion. He allowed three runs in his first four innings, but has allowed only one run in his last 5.2 innings.

Blevins was one of the A's best relievers last season, posting a 3.11 ERA in 37.2 innings. However, he struggled this spring after battling an illness and was working to regain some of his velocity. He threw 1.1 innings on Sunday for Sacramento, so he may be available for only a batter or two tonight, if needed.

Patterson and Gonzalez didn't end up getting much of a look by the A's during this latest call-up. Patterson appeared in only two games with the A's, collecting one hit. He also had a costly bobble in the A's game against Seattle on Friday that resulted in a run for the Mariners. Seattle would go on to win that game, 8-7.

In 19 games for Sacramento, Patterson has hit .329 with a 983 OPS. Sacramento manager Tony DeFrancesco is going to have to juggle playing time in the middle infield with Patterson back on the roster. The A's promoted Yung-Chi Chen and later Adrian Cardenas last week from Double-A and both players will see time at Patterson's primary position - second base.

Gonzalez also had a rough, but brief stint with the A's. Pressed into duty in the extra-innings of the A's game against Seattle on Sunday, Gonzalez threw three scoreless innings to start his outing. However, after the A's scored three times in the top of the 13th, Gonzalez stumbled in the bottom of the inning. Clearly tiring, he allowed three runs in the 13th and left an inning later with the game tied. Seattle would go on to win the game in the 15th inning, 8-7.

Gonzalez had a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings with Sacramento before the promotion.

The A's have also made some additional changes to the River Cats' roster. Left-hander Bobby Cramer and infielder/outfielder Larry Cobb have been promoted to Triple-A Sacramento from High-A Stockton. Both players are likely to stay with the team only until Gonzalez and Patterson are activated. Mathieu LeBlanc-Poirier, who was in the middle of an outstanding extended spring training camp, was sent to High-A Stockton. Catcher Matt Smith was also activated off of the Ports' DL.

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