OAKLAND — The A's potentially will be shorthanded for Sunday's series finale with the Astros.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson was out of the starting lineup with a right quad injury and manager Bob Melvin talked about possibly holding closer Grant Balfour out of the game to have him rested for the stretch of 16 games in 16 days that starts Tuesday in Minneapolis against the Twins.
Donaldson, who said he started feeling discomfort in his right quad, didn't ask for a day off, but after talking with the trainer, Melvin made the decision for him.
``He's all right,'' Melvin said of Donaldson. ``It's a right quad strain, and there's the potential that he could pinch hit later. We'll see. We think he'll be back in the lineup Tuesday.''
Balfour, who has complained about having a tired arm and not having his usual zip on his pitches, got Saturday off after throwing an inning Friday for his 37th save. Melvin indicated he'd like to give his veteran one more day off if possible, but wouldn't completely rule out using him against the Astros.
``I was thinking of giving him the day off,'' Melvin said. ``We'll monitor him and see.''
Balfour has a 9.53 ERA in his last six games, giving up seven runs (six earned) in 5.2 innings. He has saves in five of the six, but he's struggled with both velocity and command.
--Right-hander Paul Clemens was scheduled to start Sunday's series finale against the A's, but he was scratched about 90 minutes before the game.
Clemens has been dealing with blister issues on his right hand and was judged by manager Bo Porter as not being ready to go.
In his stead, right-hander Lucas Harrell (6-15, 5.69) was given the start, his 22nd of the season.
--Dan Otero will leave the club after Sunday's game to fly to Arizona where his wife is about to give birth.
He's expected to rejoin the team Wednesday in Minnesota.