Athletics starter Frankie Montas exited Sunday's game against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park early, but not due to a trade.
Oakland ended up dropping the game -- and four-game series -- with a 2-1 loss that saw Montas give up the first of Seattle's two runs before leaving with shoulder inflammation after the first inning.
Manager Mark Kotsay told reporters after the game that he and others noticed Montas' velocity was down as the game got underway. While the A's right-hander usually throws his fastball in the mid- to high-90s, his four-seam and two-seam fastballs were topping out at 93.8 mph and 92.9 mph, respectively.
Montas gave up a leadoff home run to Seattle rookie Julio Rodriguez and a single to Eugenio Suarez in the first inning before retiring the side.
Kotsay said the A's coaching staff checked in with Montas when he returned to the dugout, who reported "tightness" in the back of his throwing shoulder.
"He had some tightness in the back of his shoulder and just didn't feel like he could get fully extended," Kotsay said. "So in that situation, we're going to err on the side of caution.
"He was examined. He's just got some inflammation back there ... and we'll just go day to day from here."
He didn't return to the mound for the bottom of the second and was replaced by Austin Pruitt, who retired the Mariners' next 13 batters before a Dylan Moore single followed by an RBI double from Rodriguez knocked him out of the game in the sixth.
Montas' early exit came as trade rumors involving him persist, with ESPN's Buster Olney reporting on Saturday that the St. Louis Cardinals are favorites to land the 29-year-old.
"Frankie, actually, he feels -- his mindset is good," Kotsay said of Montas after the loss. "We'll get it looked at when we get back to Oakland and then determine the right route."
Montas and the A's return to Oakland Coliseum for a six-game homestand, beginning with Monday's matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays.