MLB notes: Athletics fire Geren; Melvin takes over

The Oakland Athletics fired Manager Bob Geren on Thursday in the midst of a nine-game losing streak that has sent them tumbling to the bottom of the AL West standings.

"It felt like at this point a change was necessary," General Manager Billy Beane said. "It got to the point where the emphasis was on the status of the manager on a daily basis and no longer on the field." Former Arizona manager Bob Melvin will take over for the rest of the season as interim manager.

Geren's four-plus seasons in Oakland were marked by numerous injuries, a lack of offense and high-profile departures as he was unable to post a winning season after taking over an AL West championship team from Ken Macha.

The beleaguered manager had come under criticism from his bullpen in recent weeks for a lack of communication with reliever Brian Fuentes, and former Oakland closer Huston Street publicly criticized him.

Chamberlain has ligament tear

Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain has a torn ligament in his right elbow, likely ending his season and requiring Tommy John surgery. The Yankees announced the injury before Thursday night's game against Boston. A test earlier in the day revealed the tear.

New York put Chamberlain on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a stiff elbow. Chamberlain and the Yankees said they were stunned when the exam showed the severity of the injury.

Royals call up second star prospect

The Royals called up third baseman Mike Moustakas from Triple-A Omaha, and the first-round draft pick of 2007 will make his major-league debut Friday night against the Angels. Moustakas will also be reunited with his buddy, first baseman Eric Hosmer, the 2008 first-round pick who was brought up from Omaha on May 6 and has been KC's best hitter.

Moustakas was hitting .356 in his last 10 games.

Short hops

■ The Pirates placed Chris Snyder on the disabled list with a herniated disk, meaning the team's top three catchers currently are injured. Snyder is scheduled for back surgery on Friday. To take his place on the roster, Pittsburgh purchased the contract of Wyatt Toregas from Triple-A Indianapolis — where he was hitting .034.

■ The Dodgers optioned rookie outfielder Jerry Sands to Triple-A Albuquerque and recalled left-handed hitting outfielder Trent Oeltjen. Sands has struggled lately, collecting just three hits, all singles, in his last 35 at-bats.

■ The Mariners will follow the lead of the Giants and make a video for an anti-suicide campaign geared toward gay youth. Mariners spokeswoman Rebecca Hale said Thursday that the organization is in the beginning stages of planning a spot for the "It Gets Better" project. Seattle writer Dan Savage launched the project last year amid several highly publicized suicides by gay teenagers. It provides messages of hope to counter the despair of bullied or rejected teens.