OAKLAND — Shortstop Jed Lowrie got the day off Thursday as the A's shortstop continues to deal with neck pain.

The issue was more of prevention. Lowrie could have played if needed, but manager Bob Melvin wants to keep his players as healthy as possible, and a rest in a day game after a night game might do the trick.

At the same time, Melvin is looking to get playing time for Nick Punto now that the veteran utility infielder's calf muscle strain is no longer an issue.

  • Ryan Cook threw 40 pitches in a two-inning simulated game Thursday morning and is likely to head out on an injury rehabilitation assignment Saturday.

    Because Cook is throwing hard without any apparent strain on his arm, the rehab assignment might last be just one game.

    That would make Cook available to start the road trip Tuesday in New York after his second disabled list stint of the year. He began the season with a shoulder problem, then the right forearm strain cropped up.

    ``I'm feeling 10 times better now than when I was when I can back from the shoulder thing,'' Cook said. ``I was healthy back then, but it was a matter of pitchability. Now I feel the pitchability is there.

    ``I knew five days ago that I wasn't ready. But that was five days ago. I feel ready to go now.''


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  • Although it was a series of three consecutive ninth inning hits, capped by Josh Donaldson's three-run homer that carried the A's to Wednesday's 3-1 win over the Tigers, Melvin said Alberto Callaspo played a huge role in the rally despite grounding out

    Tigers' starter Anibal Sanchez was dominating the A's with a two-hitter when Callaspo came up as a pinch-hitter to open the ninth. The infielder battled Sanchez to the hilt, working him for a nine-pitch at-bat, including six foul balls, both hard grounders and little bleeders.

    ``That was the key at-bat,'' Melvin said. ``He (Sanchez) had the pitches to finish. But Callaspo wore him out with that at-bat.''