Oakland A's Notes: Haren An Established Star

Since he arrived in Oakland in 2004, Dan Haren has been a solid member of the front part of the Oakland A's rotation. When Barry Zito left in the off-season and Rich Harden went on the DL in April, Haren moved to the top of the rotation. He has responded with an All-Star season and has established himself as a star in the American League.

Dan Haren came into the season wanting to establish himself as a staff leader for the A's.

So far the right-hander has done that with his 10-2 record. On Sunday his work was recognized as he was selected for his first All-Star Game. Haren has emerged as one of the American League's top right-handers and seems to stand a decent shot of starting the July 10 game in San Francisco.

"It's obviously an honor," said Haren, 26. "It's a combination of a lot of hard work put in during the offseason and the (work of) the people behind me. I can't say enough about (catcher Jason) Kendall and (pitching coach) Curt Young."

Haren was chosen for the team via the votes of his peers. Player voting is one of three ways to make the All-Star teams; fan voting determines the starting position players, and American League manager Jim Leyland and National League manager Tony La Russa each had eight picks.

Haren had one of his poorest starts Sunday against the Yankees, largely because he just got over a flu bug that zapped his energy, but he still went 5 1/3 innings for his 10th victory.

A'S 11, YANKEES 5: Oakland busted out for seven runs in the second inning and chased Andy Pettitte before he could get out of the inning. The middle of the A's lineup produced heavily as Jack Cust hit a three-run homer and Dan Johnson added a two-run shot.

Monday's Notebook

--RHP Justin Duchscherer's throwing session Sunday was postponed because of soreness in his right hip. That's not a good sign for the reliever, who has said he might have to undergo season-ending surgery if the hip doesn't recover properly. Duchscherer has been on the disabled list since May 15. "Yeah, it is" a concern, manager Bob Geren said. "He's improving, just not as quickly as we would like."

--RHP Kiko Calero played catch Saturday and Sunday, but he won't be ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible Monday. Calero is recovering from inflammation in his right shoulder, which he struggled to pitch with for six weeks before going on the injured list.

--C Kurt Suzuki drew his first start as a designated hitter Sunday against the New York Yankees, which means the A's would have lost their designated hitter if Suzuki needed to enter as a catcher if something happened to Jason Kendall. The risk was worth it to manager Geren. "I just want him to play once or twice a week," he said of Suzuki, a rookie who has impressed. "He hasn't caught much this road trip." Suzuki had two hits and continues to impress at the plate since his call-up from Triple-A Sacramento.

--DH Jack Cust batted third for the first time this season and also got the start Sunday in right field. He responded with a three-run homer and now has five homers in his past nine games.

BY THE NUMBERS: 5 -- The number of shutouts the Oakland pitching staff delivered in June, which led the major leagues.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Like I've been in a car wreck." -- Outfielder Nick Swisher, describing how he felt after extending for a diving catch on the warning track against Cleveland that took a toll on his body.

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