Alas, that time came, with Melvin sticking to his plan of giving Coco Crisp (neck soreness) every other day off for a bit and wanting another left-handed bat in his lineup against Orioles righty Ubaldo Jimenez.
Enter Stephen Vogt, who got the start in right field for the second time in four days. But he lasted just five innings there, before the A's needed him behind the plate when Derek Norris took a Manny Machado backswing to his head for the second time of the day.
Norris exited the game with a fuzzy feeling, and Craig Gentry entered in right field for Vogt.
Norris passed all of his concussion tests and said after the game, "Everything's good." Melvin said he has no doubt he'll be able to play in Anaheim on Monday.
John Jaso, meanwhile, batted leadoff as the designated hitter and hit a near-grand slam that was ultimately changed to a two-run double in the 11-1 A's victory.
"When you get three catchers in the lineup," said Vogt, "you're bound to get double-digit runs."
"Three catchers in one lineup, it's definitely rare," said Norris. "You never see it, and this is probably the only club in baseball you can do that with."
Brandon Moss started in left, and Yoenis Cespedes made his first start in center field since August 17 of last year.
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.