Groin injury knocks down A’s starter Rich Hill


The injury bug has once again reared its ugly head for the Oakland Athletics.

Standout starter Rich Hill is the latest member of the Green and Gold to face an extended injury-related absence, as manager Bob Melvin announced on Wednesday that Hill will forego the team’s trip to Cincinnati in favor of an MRI scheduled for Thursday.

The veteran lefty departed his last start — a win over the Detroit Tigers on May 29 — prematurely with what was diagnosed as a minor groin strain. After being scratched from his outing in Houston, Hill was tasked with a bullpen session on Tuesday in Milwaukee in preparation for what was expected to be a Saturday start.

After experiencing discomfort, he was unable to complete his 35 pitches.

Hill (8-3, 2.25 ERA) has accrued 64 innings pitched through his first 11 starts of the season, the highest total he has reached since going 195 innings for the Chicago Cubs in 2007, and more than he has thrown in the previous two seasons combined,.

Although both Melvin and Hill seemed to be without worry when the 36 year-old suffered the injury — which he told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle is the first-ever to his groin — the skipper is now saying that a stint on the disabled list is a possibility.

Melvin said that the hurler is scheduled for an MRI on Thursday in the Bay Area, according to Shea.

The first-year Athletic is in the midst of his best season as a major leaguer, and is well en route to his first ever All-Star nod in this his 12th season.

If the results prove to require a trip to the DL, Hill would become No. 11 on the current injured list — the fifth starting pitcher.

Also absent from Wednesday’s lineup are Danny Valencia (.343/.387/.580 season slash) who is suffering from illness, and Khris Davis (team-high 14 home runs and 36 RBIs) with an injured elbow.

In Hill’s absence, Kendall Graveman (2-6, 5.49 ERA) will get the ball on Saturday instead of his scheduled Sunday start. Sean Manaea (2-4, 6.20 ERA) will be pushed up for the final game of the current eight-game road trip.

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