PITTSBURGH -- Manager Bob Melvin will have to wait until Sunday to know if Bartolo Colon will be eligible to pitch for the American League in next Tuesday's All-Star Game in New York.

Colon, who started Monday for the A's in PNC Park against the Pirates, makes his next start Sunday against the Boston Red Sox at the Coliseum. Under baseball rules, pitchers who start on the Sunday before the All-Star Game are limited to throwing just one inning in the All-Star Game. Frequently, pitchers who start on Sunday step aside so that pitchers who don't have restrictions can be added.

Melvin made it clear Monday that he and the A's organization would prefer to see the 40-year-old Colon skip the All-Star Game and settle for simply being named to the All-Star team for the third time in his career.

"We'll see for certain on Sunday," Melvin said. "As an organization, based on his age and how much we need him, we'd like to see him get the time off. But it's up to him."

Colon, who has been averaging 6¿2/3 innings per start en route to an 11-3 record, said he will wait and see how much he throws Sunday before determining if he'll make himself eligible to pitch in the All-Star Game.

Grant Balfour, the A's closer, would be a strong possibility to replace Colon, who was the only A's player selected. Balfour has coverted all 22 of his save opportunities this season.

  • Pat Neshek hasn't pitched for the A's this month, but Melvin said the right-hander's health is no longer an issue.


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    "There was a problem he had about a week or 10 days ago where he was a little sore around the shoulder," Melvin said. "It's been a matter of matchups."

    The manager said Neshek is likely to get a call against Pittsburgh, with the way the Pirates lineup sets up.

  • The Jerry Blevins puzzle has yet to be solved. The left-hander has allowed seven runs in his last six appearances, his opponents are hitting .412 during that stretch and the first man he's faced in relief has reached base in five consecutive games.

    Melvin pointed out that in giving up two hits and a walk Sunday, Blevins was ahead in the count each time.

    "It was 0-2, 0-2 and 1-2," the manager said, "and then he gave up a hit. His stuff wasn't bad, but it was location on a particular pitch."

  • Jesse Chavez threw four innings in 90-degree heat in Kansas City Sunday, but Melvin said it's possible that Chavez, generally the long man in the bullpen, could be ready to pitch again Tuesday. "It was four innings, but under 40 pitches," Melvin said. "So maybe it's just a day."