A’s first several spring games will be seven innings

Sporting Green // Athletics

Matt Kawahara

Feb. 27, 2021Updated: Feb. 27, 2021 9:10 a.m.

Oakland Athletics players warm up during a spring training baseball practice, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Matt York / Associated Press

MESA, Ariz. – The A’s first Cactus League game Sunday will be a seven-inning game, manager Bob Melvin said, as will the following three.

Major League Baseball protocols allow for spring games through March 13 to be shortened to five or seven innings, and after March 14 to seven innings, if both teams’ managers agree.

Melvin said right-hander Daulton Jefferies, the former first-round pick from Cal, will start in Sunday’s game against the Dodgers at Hohokam Stadium. Newcomers Elvis Andrus and Mitch Moreland and regulars Mark Canha and Ramón Laureano will play in the opener, Melvin said.

Of Andrus, the A’s new shortstop, Melvin said: “I just wanted to get him started with his new team. He’ll probably play games one and three and then we’ll see where we go from there.”

For games through March 13, teams on defense will be allowed to end an inning before three outs if a pitcher has thrown at least 20 pitches. The three-batter minimum rule will be in place in games starting March 14. Teams will be allowed to remove a pitcher and send him back into the same game later throughout spring training.

After Sunday’s opener, the A’s play their next three…

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