OAKLAND -- A day after Collin Cowgill was forced to leave Friday night's loss to San Francisco with a sprained left ankle, the A's placed the outfielder on the 15-day disabled list. Infielder Brandon Hicks was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to take Cowgill's place on the roster Saturday.
Cowgill, who's hitting .271 this season, reported he was diagnosed with a Grade 2 or 3 sprain. But he and A's manager Bob Melvin both said they expect him to return as soon as he's eligible to come off the DL on July 8, or perhaps shortly thereafter.
The outfielder injured his ankle when he unsuccessfully dove for Brandon Belt's fly ball to left field in the top of the ninth inning Friday. The play was the turning point in the game, as Belt's double scored two Giants runners and erased Oakland's 3-1 lead.
In bringing up Hicks, Oakland adds a versatile infielder. He's mostly played shortstop for Sacramento and was in the lineup at that position for Saturday's game against the Giants. But Hicks has also played second base and first base at times in his career, and Melvin said he'd be the team's primary backup at first behind Brandon Moss.
Hicks not only gives the A's their fourth Brandon on the roster -- "We were looking for another Brandon, and he was the last one left," Melvin joked -- but also brings some power to the A's, hitting .272 with 13 home runs for the River Cats. The 26-year-old has been hot recently, collecting 12 hits -- six of them homers -- over seven games before going hitless Friday. Hicks credited his success to simplifying his mechanics and keeping his head more still.
"I'm hoping to carry some of that over," Hicks said. "I got hot there on that last homestand. It was nice to hit some balls out of the park, and hopefully I can carry that over."
Originally acquired off waivers from Atlanta on March 13, the right-handed Hicks should see time mostly against left-handed pitchers. Switch-hitter Cliff Pennington, the A's regular shortstop, is batting just .160 from the right side of the plate. Hicks and Pennington both played for Texas A&M, with the former arriving two years after the latter left the Aggies.
Hicks has one hit over 26 Major League at-bats, having received time with the Braves the last two seasons.