Doolittle dealing with sore left shoulder

Doolittle dealing with sore left shoulder

OAKLAND -- The A's entered play against the Giants on Wednesday without two premier relievers: Ryan Madson will be unavailable for at least two days after throwing 43 pitches in Tuesday's wild win, while Sean Doolittle was sidelined a fourth consecutive day by minor left shoulder soreness.

Doolittle last pitched Saturday in Anaheim, throwing 33 pitches in an outing he described as "the exclamation point" to a busy work week. It was then he felt his shoulder "barking a little bit, so I had to listen to it and give it a couple days off," he said Wednesday.

"I'm good, I just had a really heavy work week last week and needed some time off," Doolittle explained. "I appreciate [manager] Bob [Melvin] taking care of us and trying to stay away from guys whenever he can.

"We're not really too concerned about it, it's just kind of an annoyance and it's frustrating not being able to be out there. It's an occupational hazard."

Though Doolittle missed a large chunk of last season because of two separate shoulder injuries, he said this most recent flare-up is in a different spot, leaving him "cautiously optimistic moving forward."

Madson, meanwhile, said he felt fine physically Wednesday but expected to be slightly more sore come Thursday. Not since 2008 had he thrown more than 40 pitches, but the extra workload essentially came out of necessity; after the seventh inning of what was turning into a wild affair in San Francisco on Tuesday, Madson was the lone available reliever, with Melvin only wanting to use Fernando Rodriguez in an emergency.

Melvin was nearly faced with such a situation. After giving up back-to-back home runs and issuing a walk to open the ninth inning, Madson recorded two outs and, sitting at 38 pitches, was only going to be given one more batter, Melvin said. Madson, not knowing that at the time, proceeded to strike out Brandon Crawford for the 13-11 victory.

"I would've fought him on that," Madson said Wednesday, smiling. "I did not want to leave that game until we won. I knew I was in it to win or not. I would've done as much as I could to convince him to leave me in."

"That was quite the workload he ended up having yesterday and thank goodness he was able to do it," Melvin said, "because he hasn't thrown that many pitches in quite some time, and we really needed him to yesterday. We didn't want to see Josh Phegley pitching in a tied game."

The A's did have six available relievers on hand Wednesday, as they attempt to get through a strenuous stretch; they play 20 in a row ahead of the All-Star break, with the bullpen having already accounted for an American League-high 268 innings.

Worth noting

• Utility player Arismendy Alcantara was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday to make room for starter Sean Manaea. Acquired by the Cubs on June 9 for Chris Coghlan and promoted to Oakland on June 21, Alcantara went 2-for-8 with two stolen bases in three games.

• Left-hander Eric Surkamp, who was designated for assignment by the A's on Monday, was claimed off waivers by the Rangers.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.