OAKLAND -- A constantly rotating A's infield mix added Adam Rosales on Thursday, when Brandon Hicks was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento after struggling to provide offensive consistency in 20 games with Oakland. Hicks hit just .183, but his presence was felt by way of a handful of game-changing hits -- including his game-tying home run against the Rays on Monday that paved the way for a 15-inning A's victory. He belted three homers with the A's and compiled seven RBIs, while playing mostly against left-handers. "When I talked to him earlier today," manager Bob Melvin said, "I said, 'Everybody felt the effects when you were here. Your numbers are in no way indicative of what you've meant to this team.' He probably single-handedly won two games for us, and every hit that he had had a big impact. He was sub-.200, but every hit was big for us, he was a good fit here, and I'd be surprised if we don't see him again at some point this year."
In the meantime, Rosales is the latest to get a shot at helping an infield depleted of regular shortstop Cliff Pennington, who will begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A on Friday as he continues to recover from left elbow tendinitis. This marks Rosales' third stint with the A's this year, having compiled a .167 average with three RBIs in his previous 13 games with the club. With Sacramento, he posted a .280 average to go along with eight home runs and 47 RBIs in 76 games, making most of his appearances at shortstop while also seeing time at second and third base. "One of the things we've done well, certainly in the last month, is get guys here when they're playing well, get them in the lineup and take advantage of that production," Melvin said. "We're just trying to get guys here and get more protection at a time when they're playing well." Rosales was inserted into the lineup Thursday, batting eighth and starting at shortstop for the club's four-game-series opener against Toronto.