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Hendriks makes 3rd start in 7 days as 'opener'

A's opt for bullpen game as they begin series against Rangers
Special to MLB.com

OAKLAND -- A's right-hander Liam Hendriks made his third start in seven days Friday night against the Rangers after the team made a late change to its rotation and decided to take another shot at bullpenning.

Chris Bassitt was penciled in to make the start in the opener of a three-game series at the Coliseum after being called up from Triple-A Nashville earlier in the day. Bassitt was 2-3 with a 3.19 ERA coming into the game.

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OAKLAND -- A's right-hander Liam Hendriks made his third start in seven days Friday night against the Rangers after the team made a late change to its rotation and decided to take another shot at bullpenning.

Chris Bassitt was penciled in to make the start in the opener of a three-game series at the Coliseum after being called up from Triple-A Nashville earlier in the day. Bassitt was 2-3 with a 3.19 ERA coming into the game.

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Hendriks overcame a shaky start when he walked leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo on five pitches then fell behind, 3-1, to Rougned Odor. He came back to strike out Odor and got Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara to ground out. Bassitt took over in the second inning.

Coming into Friday, Hendriks had mixed results in his new role with the A's. He allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings and took the loss against Seattle on Sept. 1, but bounced back three days later to pitch one scoreless frame against the Yankees.

"I think he's going to start every game the rest of the season. We'll go with one starter the rest of the year," Melvin joked before the game. "Certainly the stuff is better than it's been all year. He's acclimated to pitching an inning. He's done a nice job with it and that's the reason he's starting tonight."

The A's didn't win the first two games that Hendriks started this year, but Melvin wouldn't say whether the team would continue with bullpen games this season.

"Anytime you do something new like that, there's some uncomfortableness to it," Melvin said. "Based on the fact we've done it another time now and there was some success with it the second time, I think everybody's probably a little more comfortable with it."

Pitching notes

• Left-hander Brett Anderson will throw three 15-pitch innings of a simulated game Saturday and could rejoin the starting rotation when the A's go on the upcoming six-day road trip to Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

• Sean Manaea, on the disabled list with rotator cuff tendinitis in his left shoulder, has been doing strength work, but remains restricted from baseball activities.

"The longer we go without him throwing, the more difficult it will be for him to come back [this season]," Melvin said.

• Right-hander Andrew Triggs suffered a setback and has been shut down two days after making a rehab appearance with Class A Advanced Stockton. Triggs has been on the disabled list since May 18 with nerve irritation in his pitching arm and is experience symptoms similar to what he felt before going on the DL.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to MLB.com based in the Bay Area.

Oakland Athletics, Liam Hendriks