Brett Anderson pulled from start with right oblique strain

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Unfortunate bit of news here for the Athletics.

According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, left-hander Brett Anderson was lifted in the third inning of his start Wednesday night against the Tigers after straining his right oblique while delivering a pitch.

Oblique injuries often take more than two weeks to recover from and they’re typically prone to setbacks, which means Anderson probably won’t throw another pitch during the 2012 regular season. But he could be ready if the A’s are able to advance to the ALDS.

The 24-year-old has posted a 2.57 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in six starts since returning in mid-August from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery, fanning 25 batters and walking only seven in 35 innings.

Oakland entered play Wednesday with a slight lead for the first Wild Card spot in the American League.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.