Ross’ struggles lead him back to Sacramento

ARLINGTON — Right-hander Tyson Ross was on the move again Friday, this time back to Triple-A Sacramento following a brief third stint with the A’s.

Ross was optioned less than 24 hours after he was handed the loss in Thursday’s 7-6 defeat to the Rangers, who tagged the right-hander for five runs on eight hits in just four-plus innings. The A’s called up first baseman Chris Carter to take his roster spot, allowing Melvin to keep a taxed eight-man bullpen on hand for the remaining three games in Texas.

In 12 starts with the A’s, Ross is 2-8 with a 6.35 ERA and nearly as many walks allowed (30) as strikeouts garnered (35) in 62 1/3 innings. Left-handers were batting .354 off him, and his .277 opponents average against right-handers wasn’t encouraging either.

“He needs to get deeper in games,” manager Bob Melvin said. “He needs to find a secondary pitch that’s a bit slower, we believe. His fastball velocity, if it’s 92, 93, and his slider is 87, 88, that’s probably not a big enough gap for a starter. But I think his slider was better in the times we saw him here recently. Sometimes his rhythm can be a little bit off, and therefore teams will run on him a little too much.”

With Ross back in Sacramento, the A’s will need a starter for Tuesday’s home contest against Boston, and the answer may already be in the clubhouse, as Melvin said Bartolo Colon “could be” an option for the start. It marks the day Colon is eligible to be reinstated from the disabled list, and the team is likely to decide on his availability for the outing after his bullpen Saturday.

Right-hander Graham Godfrey, currently stationed in Sacramento, has posted similar numbers with the A’s as Ross in five appearances (four starts) this season, going 0-4 with a 6.43 ERA. But he could potentially be back Tuesday, should Oakland keep him from making his scheduled Saturday start.

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