OAKLAND -- A's manager Bob Geren announced before Wednesday's game that Chad Gaudin will be moved to the bullpen to make room for fellow right-hander Rich Harden, who will start Sunday against the Texas Rangers after coming off the 15-day disabled list.
Gaudin, who was scheduled to start Friday's series opener in Arlington, was 3-2 with a 3.75 ERA in six starts this season. Before he allowed five earned runs in a 6-3 loss to the Rangers on May 3, Gaudin was an impressive 3-1 with a 1.73 ERA in his last four starts.
"All I can say is that wherever I'm at, I'm going to pitch well," Gaudin said after the A's 6-5, 10-inning win over the Baltimore Orioles. "I'm going to try and pitch my best wherever it may be. That's all I can say."
Geren, who talked to Gaudin before Wednesday's game, said it wasn't an easy decision considering the way his starters have produced. Greg Smith (2-1, 2.54 ERA) and Dana Eveland (3-2, 3.05) have been pleasant surprises, and the A's starters as a group were 15-12 and had a American League-best 3.31 ERA before Wednesday. Smith now will start Friday, and Eveland will go Saturday.
"Well, when you have five starters throwing well and one of them is not going to start, I wouldn't expect him to be happy about it," Geren said. "He's a professional and he felt that he's been pitching well, but he's also keeping a good attitude. ... He was very professional about it to me."
Gaudin spent the 2006 season in the A's bullpen, compiling 4-2 record and 3.09 ERA in 55 appearances before he became a starter for the entire 2007 campaign. After opening the year with eight wins in 11 starts, Gaudin battled injuries and finished 11-13 with a 4.42 ERA.
"I've used him in numerous types of roles," Geren said. "He has pitched in the past out of the bullpen in all types of scenarios, and he's been successful in all of them."
Harden, who was placed on the DL with a muscle strain under his right shoulder, struck out nine in six innings for Single-A Stockton on Tuesday. In his two previous starts for Oakland this season, he was 1-0 with a 0.82 ERA.
Right-handed reliever Keith Foulke pitched the seventh and eighth innings in his final rehab appearance for Stockton on Wednesday, allowing one hit -- a home run -- in 21 pitches against Visalia (Arizona Diamondbacks). Foulke (neck) is scheduled to come off the 15-day DL on Friday. When he and Harden return, it's likely a reliever and an outfielder will be sent down to Triple-A Sacramento.
Infielder Donnie Murphy worked in the outfield and outfielder Rajai Davis worked in the infield before the game so the A's can have some flexibility when interleague play starts, Geren said. Murphy then made his major-league debut as an outfielder in the ninth inning. ... Outfielder Chris Denorfia was unavailable for the game with lower back stiffness.
-- Curtis Pashelka