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Notes: Barton finds himself in odd spot

Notes: Barton in an odd spot

OAKLAND -- Leadoff hitter Shannon Stewart needed a day off Sunday and got one, so manager Bob Geren needed a new leadoff hitter.

His choice, rookie Daric Barton, seemed curious. Intriguing, even.

Until Geren explained the choice, that is.

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"I just moved everyone up a spot," Geren said.

Thus Barton, who had batted in the No. 2 spot in his previous five games, batted first for the second time in his life.

"I think I did it once in high school," Barton said before the finale of a four-game series against the visiting Rangers. "For one game."

When it was suggested that his high school team must have been quite a powerhouse if it had the luxury of batting a future big leaguer leadoff, Barton laughed.

"No, it wasn't like that," he said. "Maybe that's why it was only one game."

Geren's solution to filling the void left by Stewart created one other anomaly: Mark Ellis, whose 17 homers through Saturday were a franchise record for a second baseman, batted cleanup for the first time in his career.

"He's done a great job hitting fifth," Geren said, "so why not fourth?"

Barton, by the way, singled to open the bottom of the first inning and eventually scored. And Ellis hit his 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot that pushed his career-high RBI total to 68.

Calero done: Righty reliever Kiko Calero, who hasn't pitched since Aug. 25 because of tightness in his throwing shoulder, said that he will not pitch again this season.

"The only thing that's going to make it better is rest," Calero said.

The good news for Calero, whose 5.75 ERA is by far the worst of his four-year career, is that an MRI of the shoulder didn't reveal any structural damage. He's been playing catch in the outfield, but he doesn't plan to throw off a mound until the offseason.

"After the season, I'm going to go home to Puerto Rico, rest for a month and start working out again," he said. "Hopefully, it's OK by then."

Calero is not under contract for next season but is eligible for arbitration.

Dribblers: Geren said that he planned to use lefty Jerry Blevins, who was called up from Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday, in a variety of roles, but not in long relief. Lefty Dallas Braden and righty Colby Lewis are the designated long men. ... Rick Steen, the former longtime head varsity baseball coach at San Ramon Valley High School in nearby Danville, was honored on the field before the game. Steen retired earlier this year after his 32nd season at the school, and Geren, whose two sons play baseball there, presented him with a custom fungo bat. "Thirty-plus years at the same school? I give him my ultimate respect," Geren said. "That's awesome."

Up next: Righty Dan Haren (14-7, 3.11 ERA) takes on Mariners righty Miguel Batista (13-11, 4.67) in the opener of a three-game series on Monday night at McAfee Coliseum. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT.

Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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