OAKLAND — The A's got outfielder Craig Gentry back from the disabled list Friday, just in time for a three-game series against the Angels, a team he has a .407 batting average and a .448 on-base percentage against this season.

The move came at a cost, however. The A's had to option their most versatile reliever, Dan Otero, to Triple-A Sacramento for the time being.

The A's face two left-handed pitchers against the Angels this weekend in Hector Santiago Friday and C.J. Wilson Saturday, and the lineup, in a slump of late, needed Gentry's right-handed contribution manager Bob Melvin said. Gentry had been out since July 28 after suffering a broken right hand.

``He probably thought I was kidding when I called,'' Melvin said of his Thursday call to Otero to tell him that because he had an option move left, he was being sent down. He'll be back when rosters expand on Sept. 1. ``That's the balancing part of this, what's the bigger need? ``We do have some starters that it would suggest they'd go a little deeper in the game.

``He's an invaluable guy. But to get Gentry back, somebody had to go out. With two lefties coming up, we needed a way to get Gentry back on the roster. But it was certainly nothing that Otero did to deserve it.'' At the time of his demotion, Otero was 7-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 56 games, 71 innings pitched.


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The A's like to wait until players coming off the disabled list have some success on their injury rehabilitation assignments before bringing them off the disabled list. Not so with Gentry, who was 0-for-7 in two games with the River Cats.

``This was more of a need move,'' Melvin said. ``We've been missing three guys with Gentry, (Nick) Punto and (Jed) Lowrie who would play against left-handers.''

-- Oakland had hoped first baseman Kyle Blanks, another right-hander who could add some muscle against lefty pitchers, would be ready for activation for the disabled list this week or at worst when rosters expand in 10 days. It appears that won't be the case.

Blanks, out since June 23 with a calf injury, had started an injury rehabilitation assignment, but it hasn't gone well. Now both his feet are giving him problems, and Blanks had an MRI Friday to see if the club can get to the bottom of the problem.

``Blanks has had some setbacks,'' Melvin said. ``It's all lower leg, heel, feet, both feet now. He's sore from the ankles down.''

-- Utility infielder Punto, who suffered a strained right hamstring at the beginning of the month, is not close to returning.

He's doing more work, but he's still not doing overall baseball activities like hitting or throwing.

-- Lowrie, the A's starting shortstop, said his broken right index finger is getting better, but that he still has some minor pain when he uses the finger as part of everyday activities.

``Once that's no longer the case, I'll be able to start baseball (activities) again,'' Lowrie said. ``If I can't pick up a plate or do whatever without feeling it a bit, I know I probably can't throw or swing a bat. But it is getting better.

``You always want to play. But I don't want to play if I can't help the team.''

-- The A's weren't going to see the Angels' most effective starter, Garrett Richards, this weekend, but Richards' gruesome-looking patella injury suffered when covering first base earlier this week will keep him out for 6-9 months.

``I hate seeing anybody get hurt,'' Melvin said. ``I'd prefer everybody play full strength against everybody. That's just the nature of the business.

``It was tough to watch,'' Melvin said. ``I know it's definitely a blow for them. We hope he comes back healthy. But it is part of what you have to go through in the baseball season is injuries.''

-- The A's will have the firm 360 Architecture evaluate a number of ballpark designs with the idea of putting a new state-of-the-art baseball venue at the Coliseum site in Oakland.

The club made the announcement late Friday afternoon. It comes after the A's, the City of Oakland, Alameda County and the Joint Powers Authority that runs the Coliseum struck a deal for Oakland to play in the Coliseum for 10 more years, all while for the club to make its best effort to explore the feasibility of a new ballpark on the Coliseum site.

The A's share the Coliseum with the Oakland Raiders, who are exploring ways to get a stadium of their own on the Coliseum site.

Kansas City-based 360 Architecture, has worked for the A's since 2010 as the club has explored new stadium options. The firm built the new MetLife Stadium that is home to the NFL Giants and Jets, and the San Jose Earthquakes Stadium.

For more on the A's, see John Hickey's Inside the A's blog at ibabuzz.com/athletics. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JHickey3.

SATURDAY'S GAME
L.A. Angels (C.J. Wilson 10-8)
at A's (Jon Lester 13-8),
6:05 p.m. CSNCA