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With Cahill's return, Graveman sent down

Smolinski optioned to Triple-A Nashville by A's
MLB.com @JaneMLB

BOSTON -- A's right-hander Kendall Graveman returned to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday in a move that accommodated Trevor Cahill's return.

Graveman's roster spot went to outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who returned from the bereavement list on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, outfielder Jake Smolinski was optioned to Nashville. Cahill came off the disabled list to start against the Red Sox.

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BOSTON -- A's right-hander Kendall Graveman returned to Triple-A Nashville on Tuesday in a move that accommodated Trevor Cahill's return.

Graveman's roster spot went to outfielder Stephen Piscotty, who returned from the bereavement list on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, outfielder Jake Smolinski was optioned to Nashville. Cahill came off the disabled list to start against the Red Sox.

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Graveman subbed for Cahill just once, allowing four runs (one earned) in six innings at Yankee Stadium on Friday. The A's Opening Day starter was 0-5 with an 8.89 ERA in six starts before he was optioned to Nashville on April 26.

"He got off to a little bit of a slow start," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We were trying to get him a couple games, take the pressure off and let him work on some things, and he did and came back and pitched in one of the toughest places to pitch against an offensive team that's swinging well. He has that to feel good about, but you never feel good about being sent down to the Minor Leagues, especially for a guy that's been here a while."

The A's could have opted to remove lefty Brett Anderson -- owner of an 8.16 ERA in three starts -- from the rotation, but the veteran doesn't have any options remaining. The A's would have had to designate him for assignment.

"I think at this point in time in the season we're trying to keep as many options as we can as far as starters go," Melvin said. "We know there will probably be some injuries as the season goes along. I think that most teams now are trying to create as much depth as you possibly can, especially in the starting rotation.

"Kendall pitched well in New York. We still feel like he's a big part of this team. No doubt he will be back at some point in time, but for the interim, that's the move we made."

Cahill is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in five career starts against the Red Sox, including 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA in four outings in Boston.

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

Oakland Athletics, Trevor Cahill, Kendall Graveman