Manager Ken Macha is having his hands full trying to keep the Athletics in contention amid a slew of injuries.

OF Bobby Kielty is out indefinitely with a strained right oblique muscle, LHP Barry Zito is having spasms below his right shoulder blade, and CF Mark Kotsay still wasn't back in the lineup yesterday.

The health of number two starter Rich Harden is still in question, too.

All that and reigning AL Rookie of the Year SS Bobby Crosby is sidelined with a broken left ankle.

Kotsay missed his eighth straight game with soreness in his back, but is hoping to return to the lineup today.

"Tomorrow, as long as I don't do anything crazy," Kotsay said yesterday. "I feel good."

Zito will get an extra day before his next turn, Saturday at Texas. "I'm not missing any starts, no way," Zito said.

"I know my body."

The Athletics hope to have Harden back on the mound Sunday at Texas.

For Kielty, it could be several weeks. He tried to test his ribcage by taking more swings with no luck.

* HAPPY TO BE HERE: Most of the White Sox weren't too excited about giving up their Labor Day for a one-day road trip to Boston, but for Brandon McCarthy, it was the opportunity of a lifetime.

McCarthy, 22, worked seven scoreless innings for a victory that improved Chicago's record in day games to 32-16, best in the majors.

The game was a makeup of an August rainout.

"Me and a couple other guys here are a couple weeks removed from nine-hour bus rides or plane flights at six in the morning," said McCarthy, who has spent most of the season in the minors. "So having a one-day road trip is not a bad deal."

The White Sox left five pitchers behind and C A.J. Pierzynski returned to Florida to be with his pregnant wife.

* CONTROL FREAK: Twins RHP Carlos Silva walked one batter in his seven innings of work -- just the ninth walk off Silva in 1871/3 innings this year. He is 9-7 with a 3.27 ERA.

-- From News Services

Oakland Manager Ken Macha is battling both umpires and the injury bug as he tries to keep his team in the playoff picture.