OAKLAND -- More than 350 breast cancer survivors clad in pink jerseys and holding pink balloons formed a huge ribbon in the outfield on Sunday before the A's-Nationals game as Major League Baseball promoted breast cancer awareness leaguewide on Mother's Day.
Select Nationals players also used pink bats, batting gloves, wristbands and arm sleeves to commemorate the occasion, which has become an annual celebration for baseball.
Sunday starter Gio Gonzalez took the field with pink cleats, along with a few of his teammates, while catcher Jose Lobaton also used a pink bat.
"I love it," Kevin Frandsen said of the Mother's Day tradition. "Not only to the mothers that have battled breast cancer, but it's for every single person that has dealt with breast cancer. It might be just one day of the season, but I think it's something that we represent throughout the whole season. It's our way to give appreciation for everyone who's gone through it and to all the mothers."
A native of San Jose, about an hour south of Oakland, Frandsen was lucky to be able share Sunday's game with his mother, Tracie, and his family. In fact, Frandsen's family has been in the stands the whole weekend to see the veteran in action.
"It's nice being back home," Frandsen said. "I've actually played here in Oakland a couple times on Mother's Day, which is fun, when I was the Giants. But she's always there. Even when I was playing with the Giants, she was at every home game. It didn't matter if I was starting or not.
"Whether it's been good or bad, she's always been there. I'm very lucky I have someone so special in my life to continuously be supportive."
If it weren't for his mother, Frandsen might not have had the genes to become a big leaguer in the first place. Tracie is now a retired special education high school teacher, but she was also a four-year field hockey star at San Jose State.
"She's the true athlete of the family," Frandsen said. "I like to say I got my athletic side from her."
LaRoche latest to join Nats' DL roster
OAKLAND -- One-third of the Nationals' Opening Day lineup is now on the 15-day disabled list, but manager Matt Williams said he knows no one will feel sorry for his team.
First baseman Adam LaRoche, who is batting .319/.421/.504 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 32 games, was placed on the disabled list Sunday with a right quad strain after undergoing an MRI on Saturday. He now joins fellow sluggers Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman on the 15-day DL, as both of those players are dealing with thumb injuries that require lengthy recoveries.
But shortstop Ian Desmond said the Nationals are well-equipped to handle the repeated setbacks.
"It's a team game, man," Desmond said. "We've got a good team regardless. We found out in Spring Training that we've got tons of depth in the Minor Leagues. We've got guys coming and we've shown that so far. We've kept our heads afloat minus some big boppers this year. We're just doing our thing and grinding it out."
When you consider that right-hander Doug Fister also missed the first five-plus weeks of the season with lat strain, the Nationals have already sustained a handful of high-profile injuries. But entering play Sunday, Washington (19-17) was still right in the thick of the heated race for first in the National League East.
Desmond said he thinks Washington will "absolutely" come out of this rash of injuries as a stronger team down the stretch of the season.
"If you want to win, you've got to have some replacements," Desmond said. "It takes 40 guys, 45 guys a year to make it to the top. There's proof of that in any team that makes it to the World Series. At some point they're getting contributions from somebody that was unexpected. We're going to rely on these young guys and they've already answered the bell."
Moore rejoins Nats to replace LaRoche
OAKLAND -- Tyler Moore was back up with the big leaguers on Sunday after a cup of coffee with Triple-A Syracuse.
The 27-year-old first baseman was recalled to join the Nationals in Oakland to replace Adam LaRoche, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right quad. Moore was sent down on Wednesday and played just one game for the Chiefs before jumping back on a plane to Oakland.
Moore admits the travel has been wearing on him as he's shuttled back and forth so much.
"It does," Moore said, "but I think you got to kind of have that attitude where if you let it get to you it can kind of eat you up inside. You got to just be positive and just kind of wing it."
With an OPS of .925, LaRoche was the team's most consistent hitter. Moore jumped right into the action with a start at first base on Sunday against A's lefty Scott Kazmir. While he's hoping to get the chance to play every day while LaRoche is gone, Moore is staying realistic with his expectations.
"I hate losing him. He's been our hottest hitter," Moore said. "Can't really replace him defensively. Just hopefully he gets back quick and can help this team. I'm just here to fill in and do my job. Hopefully we'll get it rolling. We'll see what happens."
Alex Espinoza is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.