OAKLAND -- Pitcher Brandon McCarthy is ready for a normal offseason after being medically cleared this week to resume his regular routine, less than three months after being struck in the head by a line drive and undergoing emergency brain surgery."Everything's good," McCarthy said by telephone Thursday. "This last month I have taken the rest part very seriously. I have a couple little projects I've picked up, I read - I'm actually really good at being lazy. It kind of worked out well timing wise."McCarthy, a free agent right-hander who was Oakland's opening-day starter last March in Tokyo, spent Monday and Tuesday undergoing extensive evaluations by renowned concussion expert, Dr. Michael Collins, at the University of Pittsburgh. He returned to his Dallas-area home Wednesday and was cleared by Collins to begin working out."Today I'll start doing something, easing in and starting the program they gave me," McCarthy said. "Next week I'll be heading back to where I usually work out."McCarthy took a line drive to the right side of his head off the bat of the Los Angeles Angels' Erick Aybar on Sept. 5. The 29-year-old McCarthy sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture on the play, then underwent a two-hour surgery at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. After the frightening ordeal, the club initially referred to McCarthy's situation as "life-threatening."Now, he checks in with Dr. Collins once a week to let him know that everything is going well, or if something seems a little off. McCarthy's concussion symptoms have subsided, but he still has to use caution and take notice of everything when exerting himself."Going to Dr. Collins kind of confirmed all that, you're back to where you'd be at normally," McCarthy said. "As I go back to working out, as long as I feel fine, I'm pretty much on my own. I'll slowly ease back into working out, then jump back into my full program."McCarthy went 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA this year in his sixth big league season and second with the A's. McCarthy was 9-9 with a 3.32 ERA last season.He plans to begin playing catch next month, then throw bullpens starting in January if all continues to go well. The San Francisco Chronicle first reported he had been cleared to resume baseball activities."It worked out well I recovered in the time I did," McCarthy said. "This shouldn't be something lingers into the offseason."The AL West champion A's have received regular updates on McCarthy's condition, and he could still be a good option to re-sign as long as the medical reports remain positive.McCarthy plans to let the process play out in time - knowing his case isn't as it would be had he not been hurt late in the year with such a scary injury that left plenty questioning whether he would ever pitch again.The support from the A's front office, medical staff, coaches, teammates and fans has meant so much to McCarthy and his wife, Amanda."It's definitely not something I'd rule out," he said of staying with Oakland. "The timing is a little strange going into free agency for the first time, having different options, waiting to see where you're at health wise. We'll listen to everybody. It's a whirlwind. But (Oakland), it's absolutely a place I'd love to be."
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A day after hitting his first major league home run from the seventh spot, Franklin Barreto moves up five spots in Sunday's lineup.
1. Rajai Davis (R) LF
2. Franklin Barreto (R) 2B
3. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Josh Phegley (R) C
7. Matt Olson (L) RF
8. Adam Rosales (R) SS
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
Sonny Gray -- RHP
Chicago White Sox:
1. Alen Hanson (S) 2B
2. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
3. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
4. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
5. Todd Frazier (R) DH
6. Matt Davidson (R) 3B
7. Tim Anderson (R) SS
8. Omar Narvaez (L) C
9. Adam Engel (R) CF
Derek Holland -- LHP
CHICAGO -- The Oakland Athletics got a glimpse of their future on a day when the Chicago White Sox paid tribute to their past.
Barreto homered in his big league debut. He joined Olson and Brugman in becoming the second trio of teammates to hit their first homers in the same game, the Elias Sports Bureau said. It also happened in 1914 with the Kansas City Packers of the Federal League - the rival circuit lasted a couple of seasons, and included many big leaguers.
"They said something about it was the first time it has happened in a while. It's awesome to be able to share that moment with guys that I already built relationships with," said Olson, who played with Brugman and Barreto in the minors.
Former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle had his No. 56 jersey retired in a pregame ceremony. After the 30-minute tribute ended, the A's roughed up James Shields (1-1).
Daniel Gossett (1-2) took advantage of an early 6-0 lead for his first win in the big league. He gave up two unearned runs in six innings.
"It was a special experience for everyone. To get out of there with my first win was just the icing on the cake. It was an awesome experience to be a part of and I'm glad I was here," Gossett said.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria was ejected for the second straight game. He threw his hat to the ground and was tossed, right after third baseman Todd Frazier was ejected for showing his displeasure over a replay review that wasn't reversed.
"I thought it was quick," Frazier said. "I said some things that were borderline, I guess. But at the same time, it's just frustrating, man. You can't get the call right in New York as well, and they've got every different angle. They can zoom in as close as possible, and to think that they cannot make that call is just frustrating with the technology we have today. It's just crazy. It boggles your mind. It really does."
After a leadoff walk in the first, Olson homered to right. He added a two-run homer in the seventh. He was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday and is in fourth stint with the club.
Brugman hit a solo drive in the second. Barreto had a two-run homer in the third.
Barreto, a top prospect in the Oakland organization, was called up after shortstop Chad Pinder injured his hamstring Friday night and was placed on the 10-day disabled list.
Barreto was a late addition to the lineup at second base when Jed Lowrie couldn't play after a mild knee injury he sustained Friday night. The newcomer went 2 for 5 and scored twice.
"Of anybody, you're not surprised. We've seen him hit homers in his first spring training at-bats, so not a total shock. But I think everybody kind of looked around and said, `Wow, I can't remember that ever happening before,'" A's manager Bob Melvin.
Shields gave up six runs on seven hits in three-plus innings. He allowed three home runs in his second start since a two-month DL stint.
Buehrle's number was stenciled onto the dirt behind second base. He went 161-119 with a 3.83 ERA in 390 appearances for Chicago from 2000-11. The lefty pitched two no-hitters for the White Sox, including a perfect game, and helped them win the 2005 World Series.
White Sox: All signs are pointing to LHP Carlos Rodon making his season debut sometime next week. Rodon, who has been out with a biceps bursitis injury, pitched Friday night for Triple-A Charlotte. Renteria was satisfied with the reports after his fourth rehab start.
"Another start last night. He went 4 1-3, 93 pitches. Actually, in talking to everybody, he threw pretty well. Had a couple miscues in the field that were probably limited his outing. He felt good, pain-free, we're very happy with that. According to the reports, the slider was working very well. He's on track to come on back," Renteria said.
Gossett said the Oakland hitters made it easy for him in his third major league start.
"To see guys I've played with a little bit last year and this year, to see Barreto get his first hit and other guys get their first home runs, it's really special for them and I'm glad I was part of it," he said.
FINALLY WINNING ON THE ROAD:
With wins Friday and Saturday, the A's snapped a streak of losing nine consecutive road series.
Despite the rough start, Shield reached 2,000th career strikeouts.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (2-3) is scheduled to start Sunday. He is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA over his last five starts.
White Sox: LHP Derek Holland (5-7) is 1-4 with a 9.55 ERA and nine home runs allowed over his last five starts.