OAKLAND, Calif. -- Outfielder Matt Murton, acquired by Oakland in the trade that sent Rich Harden to the Chicago Cubs, joined the Athletics on Friday night and was in the starting lineup against the Los Angeles Angels.
The 26-year-old Murton was originally slated to join Oakland's Triple-A team in Sacramento, but plans changed when outfielder Ryan Sweeney left Thursday's game against Seattle with a dislocated left pinkie.
Murton never officially reported to Sacramento, instead joining the A's in time for their critical three-game series against the AL West-leading Angels. Los Angeles entered the game with a five-game lead over second-place Oakland.
Murton batted .250 with no home runs and six RBIs in 19 games with the Cubs. To make room for him on the roster, the A's optioned infielder Wes Bankston to Sacramento.
Murton joined pitcher Sean Gallagher, infielder Eric Patterson and catcher Josh Donaldson in exchange for Harden and pitcher Chad Gaudin in the trade Tuesday. Gallagher started for Oakland against the Angels on Friday.