- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - The Oakland Athletics have activated second baseman Mark Ellis from the 15-day disabled list and optioned slumping first baseman Daric Barton to Triple-A Sacramento.

With the A’s on a six-game winning streak, manager Bob Melvin chose to keep streaking rookie second baseman Jemile Weeks in the lineup for their game against the New York Mets on Wednesday night.

Weeks has hit safely in 10 of 13 games since being called up to fill in for Ellis on June 7. He’s hitting .362 with a .400 on-base percentage and four steals, sparking the ballclub during the winning streak by going 9 for 22 (.409).

Ellis “made it very easy on me,” Melvin said of the decision to start Weeks. “First thing I said to him was, ‘the second base situation.’ Well, he said, ‘That’s an easy one. You got to play him.’ I want to win, too.”

The only thing Melvin told Weeks was, “to keep playing.”

Ellis was hitting .213 with one homer and 15 RBIs in 58 games before pulling his right hamstring.

Melvin said Ellis, Oakland’s longest-tenured player, will work out at second base, third base and first base so he can get more playing time.

Barton was hitting just .212 without a homer and 21 RBIs in 67 games. His slugging percentage of .267 was second lowest in the majors. He has committed eight errors, which leads all big league first baseman.

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