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A's top prospect Barreto debuts with HR

IF Pinder placed on 10-day DL with left hamstring strain
MLB.com @JaneMLB

CHICAGO -- The A's top prospect has arrived on the scene.

Infielder Franklin Barreto, just 21 years old, was promoted from Triple-A Nashville on Saturday morning, joining a youthful A's squad for the second of a three-game series in Chicago, which Oakland won, 10-2. Barreto was a late insert into the lineup, and played second base in place of an injured Jed Lowrie (right knee) and batted seventh.

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CHICAGO -- The A's top prospect has arrived on the scene.

Infielder Franklin Barreto, just 21 years old, was promoted from Triple-A Nashville on Saturday morning, joining a youthful A's squad for the second of a three-game series in Chicago, which Oakland won, 10-2. Barreto was a late insert into the lineup, and played second base in place of an injured Jed Lowrie (right knee) and batted seventh.

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All he did was homer for his first Major League hit, a two-run shot against righty James Shields in the third inning. He finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored on the day.

"I'm happy, just happy to be here," Barreto said before the game through team interpreter Juan Dorado. "Didn't really expect that call, but I'm just excited to be here."

Video: MLB Tonight talks about Barreto's great first game

The timing of Barreto's arrival is perhaps only slightly ahead of schedule; for weeks, it was assumed he would join the A's when they found a trade partner for Lowrie. But Friday's injury to Chad Pinder, who was placed on the disabled list Saturday with a left hamstring strain, forced their hand.

Barreto, who was the main reason Oakland pulled the trigger on the Josh Donaldson trade with Toronto in November 2014, said his first call upon hearing the news Friday evening was to his father, Jose. The Venezuelan infielder hopes to have family members join him at the A's next stop, Houston.

"I feel like I'm ready to play my game, get on base, score runs, help the team in whatever way I can," he said.

Barreto was batting .281 with eight home runs and 32 RBIs in 68 games for Nashville, putting together seven multihit games over his past 12 contests while spending the majority of his time at shortstop.

Video: CHC@OAK: Barreto plates go-ahead run with sac fly

His stay in Oakland could potentially be brief, depending on Pinder's progress, but the A's expect Barreto to be in it for the long haul soon enough. The A's have promoted youngsters Bruce Maxwell, Matt Olson, Jaycob Brugman and Daniel Gossett in recent weeks, with Pinder and Ryon Healy already in tow.

"I don't think we ever realized how close it could be," Healy said. "I don't think until last year anyone fathomed that it was possible, but it's been a dream come true being able to share this with all of the guys.

"The amount of energy and talent that Franklin brings, it's going to an exciting jolt of life for this team. I think he's just very fundamentally sound. He does a lot of things that'll wow you. Stature-wise, he's a smaller human, but one of the stronger ones I've ever seen."

Added manager Bob Melvin: "[Barreto] can hit, he can really hit, and [he's] a versatile guy. We liked him at second just as well as we did at short. He's a good athlete. He's impressed everyone in the organization -- still a young kid, but we think highly enough of him to get him to the big leagues, and we feel like at some point in time he's going to have a long stay here."

Melvin said Lowrie twisted his right knee in his first at-bat Friday. He remained in the game but experienced further discomfort Saturday morning while taking swings in the cages. Lowrie is considered day to day.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.

Oakland Athletics, Franklin Barreto