Ellis making early bid for Gold Glove

Ellis making early bid for Gold Glove

OAKLAND -- With the season turning the corner by surpassing the 81-game mark, it may still be a tad too early to start talking about postseason hardware -- except when speaking of Mark Ellis, of course.

After all, a Gold Glove is long overdue for the A's second baseman, who has never received such an accolade in his seven-year Major League career despite posting mind-blowing defensive numbers and flashing "Sportscenter"-worthy plays day-after-day.

The 31-year-old Ellis was even snubbed for the award in 2006, despite setting the all-time record for fielding percentage in a single season en route to watching Kansas City's Mark Grudzielanek take the honor home. In 2007, he ranked second in fielding among second basemen.

"There's absolutely no doubt he's a Gold Glove player," manager Bob Geren said before Friday's game when asked about lobbying for his second baseman. "I've seen him play more than anyone, and he definitely deserves it."

The A's skipper needs to tell that to his colleagues, because managers and coaches -- who vote for Gold Glove winners -- are not allowed to put a check mark next to their own players.

"If there's a way I can lobby for him," Geren said, "I'll do it."

Ellis has, yet again this year, proven he's more than deserving of the award. The A's infielder is currently riding a 43-game errorless streak and has just two errors overall for a .995 fielding percentage, which is the best mark among American League second basemen.

"An errorless baseball streak is not everything," Geren insisted. "It's not a great indication because there are so many other things involved with every position, and Mark can do it all."

Geren and the rest of the A's community will expect Ellis to continue doing it all against the Angels on Saturday in the second game of a three-game set at McAfee Coliseum.

"He's the best second baseman in the league," Geren said. "There are some good ones out there, not to discredit anyone. But anyone who's seen Mark play knows how good he is."

Pitching matchup
OAK: LHP Dana Eveland (7-5, 3.50 ERA)
Eveland overcame first-inning struggles to notch a 4-3 win over Seattle in his past start. Upon giving up a three-run homer to Richie Sexson, Eveland left after 5 1/3 innings without surrendering another run despite allowing nine hits -- the most he's allowed since scattering 11 against Toronto on May 29. In his two starts against Los Angeles this year, Eveland compiled a 0-1 record with a 7.36 ERA. He surrendered nine runs on 11 hits through 11 innings in those games.

LAA: RHP Ervin Santana (10-3, 3.53 ERA)
Santana will be glad to kiss Rangers Ballpark goodbye until his next visit. Despite earning his 10th victory of the season at Rangers Ballpark his last time out, his career ERA there remained above eight (dropping from 8.10 to 8.05) after allowing six runs in seven innings. The six runs came on 10 hits, including two home runs, and two walks while striking out six. His main blemish was a five-run fifth inning, in which the Rangers hit both home runs. Fortunately for Santana, his next test comes against the Athletics, against whom he's 8-1 in his career with a 1.48 ERA. He has a 3-0 record with a 1.80 ERA in five starts at McAfee Coliseum.

Dribblers
Geren said outfielder Ryan Sweeney's "injury is at the point you don't want to put him on the DL." Sweeney, nursing a dislocated left pinky finger he endured during Thursday's game, should be ready to return to the field within the next few days, Geren said. ... Frank Thomas took part in what he deemed a "really encouraging" soft-toss hitting activity before Thursday's game, marking the first time the slugger has been involved in any baseball action since landing on the DL on May 29 with right quadriceps tendonitis. The Big Hurt will continue the same type of work through the week and is scheduled to participate in the team's batting practice at the start of the Yankees series in New York on July 18. ... In his Oakland pitching debut, the newly acquired Sean Gallagher officially took sole possession of No. 36, which had been worn by A's first base coach Tye Waller before his arrival. Waller now wears No. 46. ... The first 10,000 fans through the gate for Saturday's matchup against the Angels will receive an A's hat courtesy of Wells Fargo.

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On the Internet
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•  Official game notes

On television
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On radio
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Up next
• Sunday: Athletics (Justin Duchscherer, 10-5, 1.78) vs. Angels (Joe Saunders, 12-5, 3.07), 1:05 p.m. PT
• Monday: All-Star break
• Tuesday: All-Star break

Jane Lee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.