OAKLAND -- Josh Donaldson had never batted lower in the A's batting order than fourth this year until Sunday, when manager Bob Melvin moved hin down to sixth.

It's been a tough week-plus for Donaldson, who entered Sunday in an 0-for-31 slump. His last hit was a homer in Baltimore on June 6.

His numbers still look reasonably good -- .250 batting average with 17 homers and 50 RBIs -- and he continues to be the leading vote getter among third baseman in American League All-Star balloting.

But 0-for-31 doesn't sit well.

"I think I'm a human being," Donaldson said. "So it is frustrating. We'll see what today brings."

Donaldson said he didn't mind being lower in the batting order and Melvin said he told his third baseman of the move after Saturday's game so that it would not come as a surprise.

"I talked to him about it so that he'd be aware," Melvin said. "He hits 2, 3, and 4 for us and it won't be too long before he's back, and this is to take a little pressure off him.

"It's hard to go through that, especially when he's a guy we count on to be productive for us. But we also have other guys who can pick up the load as well. He continues to play good defense. Regardless it's tough to take him out of the lineup, because offense is not the only thing he does for us.''


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  • Donaldson was ejected after his at-bat in the seventh inning Saturday, and Sunday morning he still wasn't sure why he was tossed by umpire Hal Gibson.

    "I asked a question," Donaldson said, adding that he didn't use any expletives, which is the quick way to get tossed. "I was as thrown off it as you were."

    Melvin came out of the dugout to try and save the day but wasn't successful. The manager said that Donaldson's question concerned ball-strike calls, and that gives the umpire broad authority to make an ejection.

    That being said, while Donaldson had struck out in his fifth-inning at-bat, he'd fouled out in the seventh. That's not usually the type of at-bat that gets a player ejected.

  • Disabled right fielder Josh Reddick and Melvin sat down Sunday morning and mapped out a strategy for Reddick's upcoming injury rehabilitation assignment, which starts Tuesday when he joins the Sacramento River Cats for a road trip that includes four games at Round Rock, Texas and four more in New Orleans.

    "He wants me to be healthy, but also to be comfortable at the plate," Reddick said.

    So if Reddick's right knee is healthy, but he struggles at the plate in his first two or three games with Sacramento, he wouldn't return automatically. And Reddick is OK with that.

    "I want to come back swinging good, feeling good,'' he said. "And that's what Bob wants, too.''

    Melvin said Reddick will work out with the A's on Monday before taking off. The plan is to have him run the bases and give the right knee a thorough test before the rehab assignment begins.

  • Left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty was due to throw for the River Cats Sunday as part of his injury rehab assignment as he attempts to come back from his 2013 Tommy John surgery.

    O'Flaherty had been commuting between Oakland and Sacramento, but with the River Cats off on an eight-game road trip starting Tuesday, he'll stay with the Triple-A team to get in regular work.

    The A's are hoping he'll be ready to move into the bullpen at or slightly before the mid-July All-Star Game.