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Alonso back in lineup after right knee improves

MLB.com

OAKLAND -- The A's got a triple dose of positive injury news Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum, with the biggest being that first baseman Yonder Alonso is back in the lineup.

The left-handed-hitting Alonso had been out since fouling a ball off his right knee Wednesday night in Houston. After initially swelling up, the knee improved to the point that he feels good to play.

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OAKLAND -- The A's got a triple dose of positive injury news Saturday afternoon at the Coliseum, with the biggest being that first baseman Yonder Alonso is back in the lineup.

The left-handed-hitting Alonso had been out since fouling a ball off his right knee Wednesday night in Houston. After initially swelling up, the knee improved to the point that he feels good to play.

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"That's the fight, to keep the swelling down. It's a bone thing, so it was just more of a pain tolerance," Alonso said. "A lot of treatment, a lot of work inside the clubhouse, weight room and training room. It feels good, and I'm ready to go."

Alonso sat out Thursday's game and wasn't in the lineup Friday night against the Braves, but came in to pinch-hit in the eighth inning as Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz had a no-hitter going. Alonso struck out but said the knee wasn't an issue at the plate.

"I'm not thinking about anything," Alonso said. "Nothing hurts at that moment, and all the adrenaline's pumping in you. You're just trying to get a good pitch and hopefully barrel it."

Alonso batted fifth against Braves knuckleballer R.A. Dickey Saturday afternoon and went 1-for-4 in the 4-3 loss.

"You're trying to get the guys in there that have had experience off of him," A's manager Bob Melvin said before the game. "It's nice -- you look at our lineup and it's different without him in the lineup. So it's good to have him back and he feels good today. Hopefully he has a nice day."

Worth Noting

• Right-hander Jharel Cotton threw a 20-pitch bullpen Saturday morning and said that the blister is fully healed. The blister flared up in his last start, June 23 in Chicago, and has caused him to be pushed back twice from his spot in the rotation.

Cotton felt that pushing him back was the right call, saying, "You don't want to tax the bullpen and plus, I want to be at my best. If I go out there and it pops in the third inning, that'll tax the bullpen and that won't look good for me, as well."

Melvin said that, if all continues to go well, he's "on schedule for Monday."

• Rookie Matt Chapman (knee infection) is heading to Class A Advanced Stockton for a rehab assignment Saturday night. Melvin said that the training staff felt he was good enough to get at-bats, and with the A's not taking on-field batting practice Saturday, he will DH for the Ports on Saturday. If things continue to go well, he'll play in the field Sunday and could be activated Monday.

Chad Pinder (right hamstring strain) said an MRI determined his strain was Grade 2 on a 1-4 scale, with one being the mildest. After hurting it June 23 in Chicago, Pinder's encouraged by the news, but Melvin says it's still going to be a while.

"Those are tough ones to forecast. From time of inception with what he's dealing with, you're looking at at least a month," Melvin said. "He's not even close to baseball activity yet."

Alex Simon is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Oakland Athletics, Yonder Alonso, Matt Chapman, Jharel Cotton