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Colon comes off DL to start, Fuentes gone

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POSTED July 4, 2012 2:18 a.m.

OAKLAND (AP) — The Oakland Athletics activated right-hander Bartolo Colon from the 15-day disabled list to start against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

Colon (6-7), set for his 16th start of the season, went on the DL on June 23, retroactive to June 18, with a strained right oblique muscle. To clear roster room, Oakland designated for assignment struggling reliever Brian Fuentes. Manager Bob Melvin appreciated Fuentes’ professionalism handling the news Tuesday.

“It was just one of those things where it wasn’t a real good fit for me here right now,” Fuentes said in the clubhouse, dressed in street clothes and his giant duffel bag packed to leave the ballpark.

“It’s unfortunate. It wasn’t for a lack of preparation. It was just one of those things I was pitching inconsistently and it puts Bob and management in a tough situation. They’re trying to build up some guys and they can’t wait for me forever. I think it’s best for everybody involved. It gives me the chance to go somewhere and pitch, and hopefully someone will find me valuable enough to get me in free agency or a trade or whatever it may be.”

Fuentes went 2-2 with five saves, three blown saves and a 6.84 ERA in 26 outings, including recording his 200th save May 2 at Boston to become the sixth left-hander in major league history to reach the mark.

“One of the highlights to our season was his 200th save in Boston,” Melvin said. “He really did make it easy. He said he understood what we’re going through right now. ... Unfortunately that’s the move we had to make today. We have some left-handers pitching in more prominent roles.”

He went 0-2 with a save, two blown saves, a 19.50 ERA and .452 opponents’ average over his final seven outings. The 36-year-old has 204 career saves with a 3.58 ERA in 644 career appearances over 12 seasons with five clubs.

Fuentes grew up in the Central Valley town of Merced, and he plans to head home for now to work out and keep on his throwing program during the 10 days the A’s have to trade or release him.

Fuentes said not getting used regularly affected him and he regularly fell behind hitters and didn’t execute his pitches. And when he did get opportunities, he didn’t deliver.

“It’s a crummy situation but I go away feeling good about it,” Fuentes said. “In the roles I was in, closing for sure, you can’t just go out there and throw. The other roles I was in, whether it was setup or mopup, it just seemed like it never worked out.”

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