McCarthy sent home with shoulder soreness

DENVER — Another bout of right shoulder soreness has sidelined A’s starter Brandon McCarthy, who has been scratched from his scheduled Wednesday start and sent back to the Bay Area for an MRI.

McCarthy, 28, has missed time with the same injury on three separate occasions this season, and the most recent could potentially call for a second disabled list stint. Moreover, the soreness in his scapula has surfaced in four of the past five seasons, including last year when he was out for six weeks.

“Pretty similar to what we’ve seen in the past, so we sent him home for an MRI and so forth, and we’ll see how that goes,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s always kind of the same thing. He knows himself pretty well when it’s sore and was experiencing that the last couple of days. We try to be proactive here and try to keep him healthy.”

Because of Monday’s off-day, the A’s are able to push up Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker in the rotation, with the southpaw going Wednesday and the right-hander Thursday in Denver.

In 11 starts this season, McCarthy is 5-3 with a 2.79 ERA. His place in the rotation, whether on a temporary or permanent basis, is likely to be filled by either Graham Godfrey or Tyson Ross, with Brad Peacock also an option.

Godfrey has been dominant at the Triple-A level, going 5-0 with a 1.05 ERA in eight starts with the River Cats, compared to an 0-4 ledger and 6.43 ERA in five games — four starts — with the A’s. Ross, meanwhile, has fared well at Sacramento since being demoted by Oakland, posting a 2.45 ERA with 11 strikeouts next to five walks in 22 innings spanning four starts.

Cespedes close to action: Yoenis Cespedes was held out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game on Tuesday, but the A’s outfielder was deemed to be available off the bench as a pinch-hit option for manager Bob Melvin for the first of a three-game series with the Rockies.

Cespedes, who suffered a strain left hamstring on Thursday, could make a return to the starting lineup as early as Wednesday, Melvin added.

“He ran a lot better today,” Melvin said. “He’s definitely an option off the bench today and could be a start here very soon.

“We’re probably a little more careful with a guy as aggressive as he is. He does pretty much everything max effort.”

The A’s, who entered Tuesday having dropped three straight, are 19-16 with Cespedes in the lineup and 7-19 when he doesn’t play.

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