OAKLAND -- Brad Mills' first start for the A's didn't go as well as he had hoped, but Oakland manager Bob Melvin saw enough in the four innings that Mills worked that the left-hander is likely to stay in the rotation.

The A's have days off Monday and Thursday sandwiched around a two-game series with the Mets in New York, and the possibility exists that one of the five starters could be skipped. Melvin said he would have an announcement Sunday.

The schedule that has Sonny Gray and Scott Kazmir going against the Mets doesn't seem likely to change. If there is any alteration, it might be in the three-game series with the Marlins in Miami beginning Friday.

It's possible that either Mills or Saturday starter Jesse Chavez will get a start off. Chavez is making the switch from the bullpen to pitching every fifth day in the rotation, and the A's are being careful not to ask too much of his arm.

The deeper Chavez goes in Saturday's game with the Boston Red Sox might determine if the A's give him a start off, or at least push him back a few days.

Mills gave up three runs, two earned, in his stint and needed 94 pitches to get through four innings Friday night against the Red Sox. A double play that wasn't turned in the second inning led to two of the runs and piled up his pitch count early.

Still, the A's won the game 4-3 and they saw glimpses of why Mills had a 1.56 ERA as a starter at Triple-A Nashville.


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"I would say yes," Melvin said when asked if Mills would stick in the rotation.

Mills was recently acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers' organization and got the start because the A's needed someone to fill in with Drew Pomeranz having fractured his right hand, landing him on the disabled list.

  • Catcher Derek Norris, who came out of Friday's game after taking a foul ball off his left forearm, was feeling much better Saturday.

    "He's a lot better," Melvin said, "potentially even available off the bench today."

    Norris had X-rays taken of his arm after he came out of the game. There was no evidence of any broken bones, just a contusion that improved with treatment overnight.

  • Kyle Blanks availability for Saturday was up in the air, the manager said.

    Blanks was able to score from second base on a single Friday for the winning run against the Red Sox, but he's fighting a minor calf injury.

    Melvin said it remained to be seen if Blanks could contribute off the bench Saturday.