OAKLAND — Eric Chavez camped himself in front of the A's flat-screen television Saturday afternoon and took in a game. Thick ice packs covered both shoulders.

It wasn't quite as bad as it looked. Chavez said only the right one hurt. But as far as the A's are concerned, that's enough.

The A's third baseman sat out for the fourth time in six games with soreness in the shoulder, and while nobody is hitting the panic button just yet, Chavez admitted his latest health bout is disconcerting.

"I'm befuddled "... because with all the work I put in, my shoulder should not be sore," he said Saturday in his first public comments since the issue arose. "To say I'm not concerned would be a lie. I am concerned."

Chavez has every reason to be. He already missed most of the season's first two months while recovering from offseason back surgery. Now, he's experiencing issues with the dominant of his two surgically cleaned-up shoulders. Chavez had the procedure on his right shoulder in October, so it has had the most time to recover.

But he began having "not normal" soreness during the team's trip to Arizona, and it hasn't subsided significantly.

"Most of it is from throwing," he said. "What happens is I make a few throws, and it gets irritated from that, and once that happens, it starts to affect my swing."


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Chavez was 2-for-5 on June 18 at Arizona, the day before he started having the difficulties and was hitting .300. In five starts since then, he has gone a collective 3-for-21, and he was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in the only two starts he made last week.

"I'm not as shocked now, as I would've been had it happened when I first came back," he said. "Because when I first came back, everything felt great. The first two weeks were going so well "... (and) so favorable for me to stay on that I was able to play so much. That's when it got fatigued."

Chavez, who started 13 straight games at third base during one stretch, said he will resume baseball activities today, and "we'll go from there." He also said the team's training staff is investigating some new exercises for the shoulder.

"We're taking baby steps, so it can recover, and then we can go forward," he said.

Chavez also said the team has not decided to do any tests on the shoulder, but that it remains a possibility depending on what happens the next couple of days.

Short hops

Manager Bob Geren said he's hoping outfielder Ryan Sweeney will be ready to play by Monday. Sweeney sprained his left ankle sliding into home plate Thursday. "... The A's reach the halfway point of the season today and will be on pace to win at least 88 games. "I didn't have any numbers in mind as far as expectations," Geren said. "My expectations were to get these young guys to work hard, get a routine and believe in themselves. "... That's been met." "... The A's also conclude interleague play today and will finish with a winning record for the 10th time in interleague's 12 years of existence. The A's entered Saturday with a 10-6 record against the NL and needed one win in the final two games to finish with their best interleague mark since going 16-2 in 2002. "... Shortstop Bobby Crosby started his 80th straight game, the longest consecutive-games streak of his career.

— Rick Hurd