Anderson encouraged by return to mound

853605.jpg

Anderson encouraged by return to mound

PROGRAMMING NOTE: A's-Rangers coverage begins tonight at 6:30 with A's Pregame Live, exclusively on Comcast SportsNet California!

OAKLAND -- Brett Anderson took the mound for the first time since straining his right oblique on September 19 in Detroit. The injury occurred 12 days ago and he is already throwing from a mound. That is a good sign that Anderson could be ready to pitch in the American League Wild Card game if the A's end up there. That game would take place on Friday. Anderson, 24, has been playing long toss but taking the mound gives the A's a better way to gauge how ready he is. "My arm felt good, my body feels good, my legs and core are strong," Anderson said. "As long as this oblique is fine tomorrow I should be good to go."
PHOTO GALLERY: A's-Rangers -- What to watch for
The A's have reason to be confident in Anderson's ability to pitch. He hasn't been out that long and he went 4-0 in his first four starts after missing 14 months with "Tommy John" surgery on his left elbow. Anderson is 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA, 25 strikeouts and just seven walks in six starts this season. He is the most experienced pitcher in the starting rotation. If anything, the oblique kept his arm rested. "My arm hasn't felt this good in forever," Anderson said. "We'll see how my oblique feels tomorrow, do some treatment and go from there."Anderson has started 68 games in his career. The rest of the pitchers currently in the A's starting rotation have 108 starts combined. Dan Straily would be on turn to start on Friday, but the A's have a day off on Thursday so they could elect to go with Tommy Milone. Throwing Anderson out there could be a risky move. "There's always that possibility but we just don't want to get ahead of ourselves," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We certainly don't want to push a guy if we feel like there's some lingering soreness in the area. To this point there isn't, but you never know how he is going to feel tomorrow.""That's not up to me but I felt good today," Anderson said. "My stuff was good, big day tomorrow."The night Anderson strained his right oblique he said it would be a good story if he could pitch in the one-game playoff. He wants to make sure the team knows he is an option. Anderson has never pitched in the postseason before and understands it's an opportunity that doesn't come around too often. "I've never been to the playoffs and you try to push it and do everything you can to help your team get there and hopefully win some games once you do get there," Anderson said. "But you don't want to hurt it where next thing you know you are out, or you have to have surgery or something crazy like that." So far Anderson has cleared another hurdle toward returning. All they can do now is wait and see how his oblique bounces back from the throwing session.

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox

davis-alonso-postgame.jpg
USASTI

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's skid-snapping win over White Sox

BOX SCORE

The A’s six-game road trip got off to a promising start Friday as they try to reverse their fortunes away from Oakland.

Jharel Cotton shined over five innings before leaving because of a blister on his right hand, and the bullpen took care of things from there to complete a 3-0 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Considering the A’s came in just 9-25 on the road so far, this was the rare occurrence of them taking control early and staying in control while wearing the road grays. Now the A’s just hope the victory didn’t come with a steep price.

In addition to Cotton (5-7) leaving after a blister opened up on his right thumb, shortstop Chad Pinder left with a strained left hamstring. The severity of that injury wasn’t immediately known.

Here’s five things you need to know from the opener of this three-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field:

-- Davis hits No. 19: Khris Davis gave Cotton some early cushion with a two-run homer off Mike Pelfrey (3-6) to center field in the first. It was Davis’ team-leading 19th long ball, but just his third in 22 games this month.

-- Another solid outing for rookie: Coming off a strong 6 1/3-inning outing against the New York Yankees, Cotton again looked in control Friday before having to leave. The right-hander held the Sox to three hits over his five innings, striking out three and walking one. It’s unknown whether the blister will affect his availability for his next start, but the A’s learned with Rich Hill last season how nagging a blister can be for a starter.

-- Ninth-inning nerves: The final score didn’t indicate how tense things got for Oakland in the ninth. Closer Santiago Casilla gave up two singles to start the inning. After Avisail Garcia flied out, Todd Frazier hit a pop up behind first. Yonder Alonso couldn’t haul it in and the ball dropped, but Alonso alertly threw to second to get a force out. Then Matt Davidson sent a deep fly ball to center that Jaycob Brugman hauled in at the warning track.

--- Joyce powers up: In the fifth, Matt Joyce lit into a 3-2 pitch from Pelfrey and homered to center field to put the A’s ahead 3-0. It was the ninth homer for Joyce, who continues to provide some of the spark the A’s are looking for in the leadoff spot.

-- A double ejection: : White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and manager Rick Renteria both were ejected for arguing a fifth-inning play after Anderson hit a dribbler near home plate that surprised him by being called fair.

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

A's lineup: Young faces throughout as Athletics start series vs White Sox

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Astros-A's coverage begins at 4 p.m. with Pregame Live on NBC Sports California and streaming right here.

The latest A's youth movement embarks on its first road trip when they visit the south side of Chicago and the White Sox. Manager Bob Melvin has issued his lineup for Game 1 of the series.

Chicago White Sox:
1. Melky Cabrera (S) LF
2. Jose Abreu (R) 1B
3. Avisail Garcia (R) RF
4. Todd Frazier (R) 3B
5. Matt Davidson (R) DH
6. Tim Anderson (R) SS
7. Yolmer Sanchez (S) 2B
8. Kevan Smith (R) C
9. Adam Engel (R) CF
RHP -- Mike Pelfrey 

Oakland A's:
1. Matt Joyce (L) LF
2. Matt Olson (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Yonder Alonso (L) 1B
6. Ryon Healy (R) 3B
7. Chad Pinder (R) SS
8. Bruce Maxwell (L) C
9. Jaycob Brugman (L) CF
RHP -- Jharel Cotton