Cardinals to place Matt Holliday, Kyle McClellan on DL

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A pair of big losses for first-place St. Louis.

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak told the media Wednesday that both Matt Holliday and Kyle McClellan would go on the DL prior to Thursday’s game.

Holliday has been nursing a quad injury for over a week now.  He missed six games before returning to the lineup Monday.  He was able to gut it out then, but he was scratched from Tuesday’s lineup and he’s obviously not playing tonight.

His replacement on the roster wasn’t announced.

McClellan, who has gone 6-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his first year as a starter, is out with a strained hip flexor.  Taking his spot in the rotation will be Lance Lynn.  He’s slated to pitch tomorrow, giving both Jaime Garcia and Kyle Lohse an extra day before their next starts.

Lynn, a 2008 supplemental first-round pick, lost the competition for a rotation spot with McClellan this spring.  He was 5-3 with a 4.06 ERA and a 54/21 K/BB ratio for Triple-A Memphis, and he gave up just one homer in 62 innings.  He’ll be making his major league debut.

Allen Craig and Jon Jay will share time in left field while Holliday is out for the next couple of weeks.  It’s likely that either Mark Hamilton or Adron Chambers will replace him on the roster.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.

Athletics call up top prospect Franklin Barreto

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The Athletics called up their top prospect on Saturday, inserting shortstop Franklin Barreto into the lineup for their second game against the White Sox. Barreto was originally scheduled to make his major league debut on Sunday, but got a head start after Jed Lowrie sustained a minor knee sprain in Friday’s 3-0 win and was scratched from Saturday’s lineup.

Barreto, 21, has been rapidly climbing the rungs of the A’s minor league system after getting dealt by the Blue Jays in 2014. He got his first taste of Triple-A action late last year, going 6-for-17 with three RBI and getting caught stealing in two attempts. He fared little better this spring, slashing .281/.326/.428 with eight home runs and a .754 OPS through his first 309 PA in Nashville.

While his minor league production has been solid, if underwhelming for a prospect of his caliber, the A’s are expected to give the rookie infielder a long leash with both Marcus Semien and Chad Pinder sitting on the disabled list. Pinder landed on the 10-day DL after suffering a left hamstring strain on Friday. Semien, meanwhile, is still working his way back from the 60-day DL with a right wrist fracture and likely won’t rejoin the team until he completes a rehab assignment with High-A Stockton.