OAKLAND -- Before Saturday's game against the Mariners, the A's announced their rotation order for their first three games after the All-Star break against the Twins.
Right-hander A.J. Griffin will go Friday, left-hander Tommy Milone will start on Saturday and righty Jarrod Parker will take the ball on Sunday. A's manager Bob Melvin didn't indicate what order Bartolo Colon and Travis Blackley, the team's other two members of the current rotation, would pitch in after the initial three, but it seems likely Blackley will remain in his fifth spot.
With the All-Star break lasting four days, all of Oakland's starters will be going on extensive rest -- Griffin with nine days between starts, and the latter two with eight days each.
But Blackley will have had even more days off. The left-hander hasn't pitched since July 1 against Texas, with his last start before the break pushed back due to his back stiffness and the desire to keep the other starters on their regular schedules with Thursday's day off.
To remedy the fact that Blackley could be going 17 days in between starts, Melvin said he might use the Australia native in relief before his next outing.
"Potentially," Melvin said. "That's just what happens a lot of times with a fifth starter. If we led off with him and didn't use Griffin, Griffin's a guy that's probably going to go the longest period of time right now [between starts]. We're trying to keep them all fairly current, to where there isn't one guy that hasn't pitched in 12 days, now he's expected to go out there and start.
"That's part of how we looked at the rotation coming back."
No matter the order, the rotation should be carrying some strong momentum into the second half of the season, barring a meltdown in one of the two games remaining before the break. Going into Saturday, Oakland's starters had allowed one earned run or less in their last seven games, the franchise's longest such streak since the 1966 Kansas City A's had eight straight.
A's starting pitchers are 8-4 with a 1.85 ERA in the last 21 games.