Triggs also injured; Manaea pitches 5 emergency innings
By Mark Chiarelli
OAKLAND -- A's left-hander Rich Hill was removed from his much-anticipated start against the Blue Jays on Sunday after just five pitches, aggravating a blister on his left middle finger that he says will need at least three or four days to heal.
Hill said it was too early to know when he would make his next start.
He felt the blister "open up" and begin to bleed following a 3-1 fastball to leadoff hitter Devon Travis. Hill motioned to the dugout, prompting a trainer and A's manager Bob Melvin to visit the mound, and was removed after an examination of his left hand. The Blue Jays went on to win the game, 5-3.
It was the same blister that scratched Hill from his scheduled start Friday.
"I really can't explain it because I've never had anything like this before," Hill said. "I've had blisters on a different part of my finger before, but nothing like this."
Hill first got the blister pitching a side session in Houston last Thursday, and missing Friday's start was only a "precaution" to allow extra time to heal. "There's no issues. It feels good," Hill said prior to Sunday's start.
Melvin also said the team's unsure how long Hill will be sidelined.
"It's frustrating for him because he looked like he was fine leading into the start," he said. "We'll have to give him some time. We're not sure how long yet."
Hill has been the subject of increased trade speculation as the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches, and several teams, including the Rangers, Red Sox and Orioles, had scouts in attendance this weekend at the Coliseum.
A's reliever Andrew Triggs replaced Hill. The first batter he faced, Josh Donaldson, hit a liner off Triggs' left leg, causing Melvin and a trainer to revisit the mound and check on Triggs, who stayed in the game to finish the inning.
The A's opened the second inning with their third pitcher of the game, with left-hander Sean Manaea replacing Triggs. Manaea was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Astros but instead went five innings Sunday. Melvin did not name a starter for Tuesday after the game, but ruled out Hill.
Triggs departed with a left calf contusion and said following the game they'll wait for the swelling to subside before moving forward.
Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.