ARLINGTON -- The A's are taking all reasonable measures to limit the workloads of their prized rookie pitchers, from going to a six-man starting rotation to monitoring between-starts throwing to applying pitch-count limits in the final weeks of September.

That's not why right-hander Trevor Cahill was yanked after three innings his last time out, though. He was yanked because he had one of his worst games, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while throwing more than 70 pitches.

He'll be looking to bounce back on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark.

"I was all over the place," Cahill said, "with everything."

Cahill, 21, will be closely watched by Oakland's coaches as he approaches the 80-pitch mark on Wednesday. Including his two outings in the Beijing Olympics and the All-Star Futures Game last summer, he threw 134 1/3 innings in his third year out of Vista (Calif.) High School. He's thrown 161 1/3 innings this year.

"He's passed his career high in innings, but that's also part of the progression of a young pitcher," A's manager Bob Geren said. "Ideally, we'd like to see him through five or six innings, even if we don't want him going much past 80 [pitches]. You don't just shut a guy down because he's passed his career high.

"There's still a lot to learn for these guys, Trevor and [fellow 21-year-old starter] Brett Anderson. And their arms are still at that building-up stage."

Geren said no such restrictions will be applied to 23-year-old lefty Gio Gonzalez, who threw 157 innings last season and has thrown 143 2/3 this year.

"Gio could go nine every time out if he can do it," Geren said. "It's not an issue with him."

Pitching matchup
OAK: RHP Trevor Cahill (8-12, 4.74 ERA)
Heavily reliant on his sinking two-seam fastball, Cahill has struggled to keep his money pitch down in the strike zone, leaving him vulnerable to the long ball. His 26 homers allowed are an Oakland rookie record. On Aug. 6 in Oakland, the Rangers tagged the former second-round pick for two homers on the way to scoring five runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings to pin Cahill with a loss.

TEX: RHP Dustin Nippert (5-2, 3.95 ERA)
Nippert was 3-2 with a 4.43 ERA in nine starts before being replaced by Brandon McCarthy in the rotation. He is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA in relief. His last start was against the Blue Jays on Sept. 1, when he allowed two runs in six innings in a 5-2 victory. He is 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in six games, including three starts, at Rangers Ballpark. He made one start against the Athletics this year and pitched five scoreless innings on Aug. 3 in Oakland. He left with a 1-0 lead, but the Athletics rallied for three runs in the ninth for a 3-2 victory.

Dribblers ...
The A's are on pace to commit 96 errors. They've made fewer than 100 errors in each of the previous five seasons, matching the longest such streak in Major League history (Phillies, 2001-05). ... Guess who leads the big leagues in stolen bases since the All-Star break? Yes, the running A's. Rajai Davis stole his 37th bag of the season Tuesday, giving Oakland 66 in the second half. It's the most it's stolen in the second half since the 1992 team had 68. ... With 120 stolen bases on the season, the A's are 21 from matching the team's highest total in 16 years. The 1998 team took 131. ... Ryan Sweeney made his 10th start of the season in the No. 3 spot in the Oakland batting order, also known as the A's version of the Black Hole. Entering Tuesday's game, the team's No. 3 hitters were batting a combined .221 -- the lowest mark in the Majors.

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Up next
• Thursday: Athletics (Clay Mortensen, 1-2, 6.75) vs. Indians (Justin Masterson, 4-7, 4.25), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Friday: Athletics (Brett Anderson, 9-10, 4.37) vs. Indians (David Huff, 10-7, 6.14), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Athletics (Gio Gonzalez, 5-6, 6.31) vs. Indians (Carlos Carrasco, 0-2, 9.64), 1:05 p.m. PT