OAKLAND — Left-hander Cole Irvin, the Athletics’ most consistent starter of late, is experiencing shoulder tightness and the club has Zach Logue in town to travel to Minnesota in case he’s needed to step in.
“After his last start he had a little bit of general soreness,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said Wednesday before the A’s concluded a six-game homestand against the Tampa Bay Rays. “He threw yesterday so we’re evaluating him today in terms of that soreness and we’ll have a plan based on how he feels and decide that tomorrow during the off day.”
In Irvin’s last start against Cleveland on Saturday, he gave up one earned run in six innings and had no decision in a game the A’s eventually lost 3-1 to the Cleveland Guardians.
Irvin is 2-1 with a 2.93 earned run average and was the only starter up to par in the last turn in the rotation to pitch well. Heading in to Wednesday’s game, the starting five on the homestand of Frankie Montas, Irvin, James Kaprielian, Daulton Jefferies and Paul Blackburn had a 7.65 earned run average. Montas starts for the A’s to close out the homestand before an off day and an eight-game road trip to Minnesota and Detroit.
Kotsay declined to be specific regarding the evaluation process for Irvin and if medical tests are involved such as an MRI.
While Irvin hasn’t been ruled out of Friday’s start, Logue’s presence means there’s a chance he could skip a turn. Logue has 5.63 earned run average in Triple-A with the Las Vegas Aviators in 16 innings with no decision. Logue was up with the A’s earlier this season and got his first major league in in relief on April 19. He was acquired in the deal that sent Matt Chapman to the Toronto Blue Jays.
The A’s will also look to Las Vegas for a starter on May 10 when they play a doublehader against the Detroit Tigers.
The end result was a buzzkill, but that didn’t stop Kevin Smith’s cell phone from blowing up after hitting first-inning grand slam Tuesday night against the Blue Jays. The blast gave the A’s a 5-1 lead. Oakland took a 5-3 lead into the ninth, but lost 10-7 in 10 innings when Kirby Snead and Lou Trivino imploded in the ninth and 10th innings.
Smith, who like Logue arrived from Toronto in the Chapman trade, had a home run last season for the Blue Jays. The grand slam was his first.
“You always dream about hitting one of those in the big leagues, right,” Smith said. “It was good to come up big when we needed it. We just didn’t execute late in the game when we had a few other opportunities. That happens sometimes.”
Smith, 25, is hitting .233 with a home run and six RBIs. He missed some time with an ankle injury, but has the kind of position versatility Kotsay likes to have on the roster.
“I love the athleticism, his ability to play short, play third, play second. And he’s got a way about him that I…
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