SEA@OAK: Norris singles home the game's first run

ARLINGTON -- The A's are playing musical chairs behind the plate these days, doling out playing time to all three catchers on their roster.

And it's working out quite well.

Oakland started Derek Norris at catcher for Sunday's series finale against Texas, the club's third catcher in as many days. Kurt Suzuki drew the start behind the plate Friday and Stephen Vogt was given the nod Saturday.

Through the first five games of the six-game road swing, the trio was 12-for-24 with four RBIs.

"We have three catchers that we have a lot of faith in doing what they do behind the plate," said manager Bob Melvin.

Norris is dominating left-handers, leading Melvin to move him up to the fifth spot of the lineup Sunday. He has batted .313 with all eight of his home runs against them, compared to .152 against right-handers.

John Jaso, meanwhile, is unlikely to return after missing nearly two months because of concussion symptoms. Jaso is making steady progress, but "I haven't heard anything to suggest there's a timetable for getting him back," according to Melvin.

Cespedes to have MRI on sore shoulder Monday

OAK@TEX: Cespedes drills a three-run homer in first

ARLINGTON -- Yoenis Cespedes was a late scratch from the A's lineup on Sunday afternoon in Texas because of right shoulder soreness, and he's expected to undergo an MRI in Oakland on Monday.

"We'll have a better idea of how he is then," manager Bob Melvin said after a 5-1 win over the Rangers.

Cespedes was slated to make his second straight start at designated hitter against the Rangers, before the A's opted to rest him and make Nate Freiman their DH.

Cespedes initially injured the shoulder on the club's last homestand, though it hasn't necessarily affected his swing. He went 6-for-19 with nine RBIs on the A's six-game road trip and is batting .373 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in his last 13 games in September, eight of which have resulted in multihit performances.

Losing him for any period of time, then, would be significant.

"I cross my fingers and hope not," Melvin said. "Hopefully we can use him in a DH role. Pretty important guy to have."

Parker late scratch with illness, may start Monday

TEX@OAK: Parker fans four, holds Rangers to two runs

ARLINGTON - Just minutes after removing Yoenis Cespedes from their lineup because of shoulder soreness, the A's announced they'd also be without scheduled starter Jarrod Parker for Sunday's series finale in Texas.

Parker was scratched due to illness and replaced by lefty Tommy Milone, who entered the day 0-4 with a 5.67 ERA in five career starts against the Rangers. Milone notched his first career win against Texas, allowing just one run on five hits in a 5-1 victory.

As for Parker, the right-hander could start as soon as Monday at home against the Angels, according to manager Bob Melvin, who would then likely bump scheduled starter Sonny Gray to Tuesday. Parker was feeling better after Sunday's game, but couldn't commit to a Monday start.

"If I feel better," Parker said, "we'll assess it and make a decision."

Parker, undefeated in his last 19 starts, vomited in the morning and knew he likely couldn't give the A's what they needed in a pivotal game.

"To pitch here in a day game, dehydrated, if I go one inning, it kind of handcuffs us, so I think it was a good decision," he said. "Huge pickup by Tommy to step in and do a great job on short notice. He did an unbelievable job of stepping up."

"He did a great job for us," said Jed Lowrie. "That's quite a luxury to have as a team, to have a guy that's proven he can do it in the past and to be able to throw him out there in a big game like this against a big divisional rival and pitch the way he did."

Worth noting

• A's shortstop Jed Lowrie exited Sunday's 5-1 victory after seven innings because of right hamstring tightness. He hopes to play Monday.

• After pitching an inning in relief Sunday, reliever Dan Otero flew home to Phoenix for the birth of his first child.  

• Lefty Brett Anderson, who prematurely exited his Friday relief appearance because of back spasms, was "a lot better" on Sunday, said Melvin. However, Melvin was likely to give Anderson another day off before using him out of the bullpen again.

• Outfielder Michael Choice remained at the team hotel during Saturday's game while dealing with food poisoning. He was still struggling from some symptoms Sunday morning, and Melvin said he'd probably stay away from using him.