OAK@CWS: Rosales goes to the ground to snag a liner

OAKLAND -- Four days after designating him for assignment, the A's announced they've outrighted Adam Rosales to Triple-A Sacramento, keeping him in the organization.

"Obviously you'd like him to be in the big leagues somewhere if it didn't come down to this," manager Bob Melvin said, "but even when I talked to him, he was excited about it either way, because he does love the organization and wants to be here."

Rosales, 30, was batting .200 with four home runs and eight RBIs in 48 games with the A's when the team designated him in favor of calling up prospect Grant Green, who is platooning at second base with Eric Sogard.

Rosales hit .318 over his first 13 games with the A's but just .140 over his final 35 contests.

"Last year when he went through some struggles, we were able to send him down and get him going again before getting him back up here," Melvin said. "So I think he's excited about just getting to play some and stay with the organization -- not as much as I am, but we're all excited about him being an A."

Rosales, like several other players roaming around in Sacramento, including Jemile Weeks and Hiro Nakajima, is expected to play multiple positions with the River Cats.

"That's what you're seeing everyone do there," said Melvin.

Melvin confident in using Gray in any situation

OAK@PIT: Gray tosses two scoreless innings in debut

OAKLAND -- Manager Bob Melvin was admittedly a bit careful in picking just the right spot for Sonny Gray to make his Major League debut.

And now?

"He impressed to the point where we could potentially use him in any situation," Melvin said Friday.

Those remarks come two days after Gray, Oakland's first-round pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft and ranked the organization's No. 5 prospect, struck out three and allowed just one hit over two innings of relief work against the Pirates in his debut.

"It didn't look like he was nervous about anything," Melvin said. "He threw all his pitches. Therefore, depending on a particular day and who's available, we're certainly not opposed to using him in a plus game and an important situation."

Gray was 8-5 with a Pacific Coast League-leading 2.81 ERA in 16 starts with the River Cats at the time of his promotion. His only other relief experience came in college and Spring Training, but the A's were confident in his readiness to contribute at the highest level in any role.

He'll remain in the bullpen at least through the start of the All-Star break and likely remain there after it concludes unless a rotation spot opens.

"We saw in Spring Training he's got a lot of energy and the command can be an issue when you're like that, especially in your first big league opportunity," Melvin said. "But he wasn't, and the command was really good. That was one thing we felt he needed to work on in the last couple of years, and he's done that. Very impressive kid. We'd use him in any particular role."

Home-plate umpire exits after getting hit in mask

BOS@OAK: Umpire leaves game after pitch to head

OAKLAND -- Home-plate umpire CB Bucknor exited in the second inning of the Red Sox-A's matchup after taking a pitch to his face mask on Friday evening.

Second-base umpire Bill Miller replaced Bucknor behind the plate.

With no outs in the frame, A's right-hander Jarrod Parker threw a pitch that grazed the back of Daniel Nava before hitting Bucknor. He was examined by A's trainer Nick Paparesta for several minutes before departing.

Worth noting

•The A's will go into the All-Star break with a winning record for the first time since 2008. They entered Friday with a 54-38 ledger, and one more win by the break would give them their most since posting 55 in 1975.

Moreover, the A's hold a one-game lead in the American League West. Over the last 23 years, the only time the A's have been in first place at the break was in 2006, when they were tied for first with Texas.