SEATTLE -- The A's will begin the second half of the season Friday against the Baltimore Orioles with newly acquired Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel pitching the first two games after the All-Star break.

Those two will be followed Sunday by Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir on Monday and Jesse Chavez on Tuesday.

What this does is give the pitchers who have had the heaviest burden, both in terms of pitching in a pennant race and pitching the most innings -- Gray (118 innings entering Sunday), Kazmir (117 1/3) and Chavez (114 2/3) extra time off.

Samardzija (108) and Hammel (108 2/3) aren't all that far behind, but they chalked up most of those innings pitching for a Chicago Cubs team that entered the last day before the All-Star break tied for the fewest wins in the National League (40).

The A's do have options at Triple-A Sacramento, manager Bob Melvin said, in Drew Pomeranz and Tommy Milone, both left-handers.

"We'll see how it plays out," Melvin said. "This is the current construction."

Pomeranz, his fractured right hand mended, was taken off the disabled list Sunday and the left-handed pitcher was optioned to the River Cats, where he joins the rotation for the time being.

Pomeranz made an impressive injury rehabilitation start Saturday, striking out seven in four innings, giving up one hit and walking none. The one hit was a homer.

Melvin said it was "terrific" to have the kind of depth in the rotation that having Pomeranz and fellow lefty Milone gave the A's.


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"Drew has shown he can do it in the rotation or in the bullpen,'' Melvin said. "So he's opened up some options for himself. He's pitched well in both roles.''

  • Coco Crisp was out of the lineup for the fourth consecutive start, and the hope in the A's clubhouse is that the upcoming four-day All-Star break will get their center fielder and leadoff man healed and back in the starting lineup when the season resumes Friday.

    Crisp has been dealing with neck issues off and on. He took part in Saturday's work on the field but did not take batting practice. There was no team workout or BP Sunday.

    ``You would hope (the time off) would help,'' Melvin said. ``He's getting better every day. Once he turns a corner, sometimes it happens pretty quickly. It was good to get him back on the field, running around.''

  • Right fielder Josh Reddick, currently on an injury rehabilitation assignment with the Triple-A Sacramento River Cats, may or may not be ready to rejoin the A's when the second half begins Friday in Oakland with Baltimore in town.

    ``I don't know yet,'' Melvin said. ``It depends on how everything goes, on how he feels, on how he's swinging the bat, all of the above.

    ``It would be nice to have him back. We're a little banged up right now. You look today, we have none of our starting outfielders are out there. Yoenis Cespedes is DHing.''

    Melvin had Andy Parrino in left, Craig Gentry in center and Brandon Moss in right. Parrino hasn't played a game in the outfield since 2012.

    ``It takes its toll on you,'' Melvin said. ``It would be nice to have (Reddick) back as soon as we can.''

  • The seven A's players taking part in the All-Star Game, pitchers Kazmir, Samardzija and Sean Doolittle, first baseman Brandon Moss, third baseman Josh Donaldson, left fielder Yoenis Cespedes and catcher Derek Norris, will fly after Sunday's game in a chartered plane to Minneapolis for the All-Star Game.