OAKLAND -- Before Thursday's game, Hiro Nakajima and Adam Rosales played a game of catch on the field with pretend baseballs. The two injured infielders were all smiles, but they will be staying in Oakland to continue their rehab while the team travels to Houston.
Rosales is still healing from an intercostal strain and has yet to swing a bat. Nakajima, who has a strained left hamstring, has resumed some baseball activities. The Japanese shortstop hit in the cage on Wednesday and Thursday. He has been soft tossing and hitting off a tee.
"When you're idle this long as far as baseball activities, usually a rehab assignment is prudent," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's probably the case with both of these guys."
Nakajima says he is continuing to feel better. While the rehab is going well so far, the hardest part might be not participating.
"I want to move, but I can't," Nakajima said through interpreter Hiroo Nishi. "When I'm just observing, it's just like a research time for me."
So what did Nakajima learn from his research?
"Just from what I have seen, I think this place is very hot," he said jokingly, and not in reference to the weather.
Jed Lowrie and Chris Young hit back-to-back home runs on Wednesday. They are both in the lineup again on Thursday. Young sat in favor of Seth Smith against right-handed pitchers through the first two games of the season, but Melvin said he was planning to start Young all along in the fourth game.
Lowrie is hitting .444 this season with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. He will be batting in the two spot for the second game in a row.
"I like it, I like hitting second," Lowrie said. "I think it fits my style of game. I'm at my best when I'm concentrating on getting on base. I think I've got good bat control and a good eye."
Melvin noted that he was impressed with Lowrie's 3 for 3 performance while batting second on Wednesday, but said he won't be there full time. The A's skipper likes to keep his options open when making out the lineup card.
-- The Baltimore Orioles have claimed right-handed pitcher Josh Stinson from the A's. Stinson was claimed from the Brewers on March 29, and designated for assignment by the A's four days later. Daric Barton has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Triple-A Sacramento.