OAKLAND -- Eric Patterson spent most of the season proving that he's more than ready for the challenge of regular playing time in the big leagues.

With the most recent injury to A's outfielder Scott Hairston, Patterson figures to get it.

A 25-year-old speedster acquired in the Rich Harden trade with the Cubs last July, Patterson was among the best players in the Pacific Coast League this year, earning MVP consideration with Triple-A Sacramento.

He batted .307 with 29 doubles, 12 homers, 56 RBIs and a .376 on-base percentage in 110 games, broke the River Cats' record for stolen bases in a season with 43 (in 49 attempts), and ranked second in the league in triples (11), fourth in runs (91) and fifth in hits (143).

All while playing all over the field, with 48 games at second base, 29 in center field, 19 in left field, 10 at third base and one at first base.

"Awesome," said longtime River Cats radio announcer Johnny Dosky. "Truly an amazing season. One of the best I've seen here. I kept waiting for that game where he'd play every position, because I'm sure he could do it. He's that good of an athlete."

In his brief stints with the A's, however, Patterson never got much of a chance to show off. He was called up for the third time on Aug. 28, and through Monday he'd gotten all of 58 at-bats, batting .196.

The frequency with which Patterson takes the field likely will increase with Hairston out indefinitely, though. He took over for Hairston in left field on Monday, was in the starting lineup in left Tuesday and might very well be starting again on Wednesday in the third game of a four-game series against the Rangers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

"Of course you want to get out there," Patterson said upon being recalled. "But you have to be patient, too. The key is being ready when they call your name."

A left-handed hitter who has stolen 12 bases in 13 attempts as a big leaguer, Patterson should hear his name called quite a bit over the final 11 games.

"He's another one of those guys who has an opportunity," A's manager Bob Geren said. "We've had a lot of young guys get into the lineup for one reason or another over the past few years, and a lot of them have taken advantage of it. Obviously, Eric's a very talented guy. I don't see why he wouldn't be someone to take advantage of his opportunity as well."

Pitching matchup
OAK: RHP Clay Mortensen (2-2, 6.12 ERA)
Mortensen, a rookie who came to the A's in July from St. Louis in the Matt Holliday trade, made it two straight victories on Thursday night, beating Cleveland. He went five innings, holding the Indians to two runs on four hits. He struck out four and walked just three. He pitched out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the second, striking out Trevor Crowe. In his previous start, Mortensen held the Twins to one run on five hits over six innings, earning his first Major League win in his third try. He's never faced the Rangers.

TEX: RHP Tommy Hunter (8-4, 3.25 ERA)
Hunter is 2-2 with a 4.23 ERA in his last six starts. He is 2-1 with a 3.08 ERA in six starts on the road this season and has held right-handed hitters to a .203 batting average, while left-handers are hitting .263. Opponents are hitting .169 with runners in scoring position, including 3-for-37 when there are two outs. Hunter is 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts against the Athletics.

Dribblers ...
Adam Kennedy was ejected from Tuesday's game in the first inning for arguing a called third strike. He ended up 0-for-1, and that snapped an eight-game hitting streak. ... First baseman Daric Barton, who suffered a minor heel injury while trying to score from first base on a double in the sixth inning Sunday and did not play Monday, was back in the lineup Tuesday. He was seemingly fine as he legged out a triple and took home on a throwing error for a de facto inside-the-parker. ... The A's have a 10-7 lead over the Rangers in the season series, with a 5-4 record in Arlington and a 5-3 mark in Oakland, securing their first season-series win against Texas since 2005. ... In dropping Monday's series opener, Oakland fell to 23-25 in such games. The club is 22-25 in the last game of a series this year. ... How good has the A's bullpen been this year? Oakland is 62-1 when leading after eight innings. ... Outfielder Travis Buck, recalled from Sacramento on Saturday, has a 145-game errorless streak. That's the third-longest streak in Oakland history. Stan Javier (1994-95) was flawless afield for 162 games, and the record holder is Jermaine Dye, who didn't make an error in 165 consecutive games over a span bridging Sept. 25, 2002-Aug. 6, 2004. Dye was limited by injuries to 65 games in 2003.

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Up next
• Thursday: Athletics (Brett Anderson, 10-10, 4.21) vs. Rangers (Scott Feldman, 17-5, 3.62), 12:35 p.m. PT
• Friday: Athletics (Gio Gonzalez, 5-6, 6.15) at Angels (Jered Weaver, 15-7, 3.87), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Athletics (Dana Eveland, 2-3, 6.50) at Angels (John Lackey, 11-8, 3.56), 6:05 p.m. PT