OAKLAND -- An A's rotation that was close to returning to full strength with the imminent return of Brandon McCarthy was dealt another blow in the series finale against San Diego.
Bartolo Colon, Sunday's starter for Oakland, exited the game in the bottom of the third inning with a right oblique strain. The pitcher walked off the field under his own power with head trainer Nick Paparesta.
Colon incurred the injury while fielding a sacrifice bunt from the Padres' Alexi Amarista. Colon threw wildly to first and was charged with an error before Paparesta and A's manager Bob Melvin came out to check on the right-hander.
After the game, Colon said he knew he had hurt himself when he stopped and went to pick up the ball. He is scheduled to get an MRI on Monday, and while more will be known on Tuesday, it's likely that Colon will be out for an extended amount of time, based on the nature of oblique injuries. He said he was forced to miss 28 days when he strained his left oblique while playing for Cleveland in 1999.
"It really was [disheartening]," third baseman Brandon Inge said of seeing Colon have to exit. "But so far, this team has done pretty good with picking each other up. You're never going to stay 100 percent, have 25 guys that stay 100 percent healthy the entire year. It's up to everyone else to step up, pick up the slack when things start going down like that. So far, I like the way the team has reacted to injuries like that."
Left-hander Pedro Figueroa, who was called up Sunday to bolster the bullpen, replaced Colon on the mound and threw three scoreless innings, though he did allow one of the runners inherited from Colon to score. Melvin said right-hander Tyson Ross, who started for Oakland on Saturday before being optioned back to Triple-A Sacramento on Sunday, could replace Colon in the rotation if he misses time.
Ben Estes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.