Brett Anderson is close to rejoining Oakland A’s rotation — only question is when

It goes without saying the A’s need to salvage a victory here before leaving Kansas City, just to get momentum rolling back in their direction. They’ve got Josh Reddick back in the lineup, though he’s serving as DH. The dental problem is still bothering him, and Reddick was walking around the clubhouse today holding an ice pack to his cheek. It didn’t stop him from granting a lengthy interview to a Kansas City-based reporter. The guy is as media-friendly as they come …

As the A’s begin a six-game homestand Friday, it appears they’ll welcome some reinforcements soon. Brett Anderson was solid in a five inning, 96-pitch rehab start for Triple-A Sacramento on Wednesday. Manager Bob Melvin said Anderson will throw a bullpen session in Oakland in the next few days before the team evaluates when he returns. That throwing session can come whenever the A’s and Anderson want to plan it, and Melvin noted, “I think the (timing of) the bullpen will have more to do with when he might start.” So let’s speculate on when Anderson will come off the D.L. and pitch his first game for Oakland. I could see the A’s targeting Tuesday’s game against Minnesota. That would be Dan Straily’s day to pitch (Straily also goes tonight), but if the A’s wanted to wedge Anderson in there, it would give Straily and Tommy Milone an extra day of rest. Jarrod Parker is due to pitch Sunday, and though he’s struggled, the A’s wouldn’t bring Anderson back on three days’ rest to take the ball then. Melvin still hasn’t given an indication if the A’s will go to a six-man rotation or not, but the idea certainly seems to make sense.

–Seth Smith will run the bases when the A’s get to Oakland, and that will give the team an idea of where he stands in his rehab from a hamstring injury. But he appears to be coming along well. Melvin expects Smith to play a couple of minor league rehab games before being activated. You have to figure the addition of any hitter would be welcome right now given how the offense has looked against the Royals.

–Jonny Gomes and several of his teammates watched in the clubhouse as Petaluma National won its Little League World Series opener 6-4 over New England on Thursday afternoon. Melvin caught a bit of the game too. “I didn’t realize they wore green and gold,” he said. “That was nice to see.” … Gomes said fundraising efforts to help cover travel costs for families of the Petaluma players is approaching $65,000. Several businesses in Petaluma have kicked in contributions …

Tonight’s lineups:
A’s — Crisp CF, Weeks 2B, Reddick DH, Cespedes LF, Carter 1B, Moss RF, Donaldson 3B, Norris C, Pennington SS; Straily RHP.

Royals — Dyson CF, Escobar SS, Gordon LF, Butler DH, Perez C, Moustakas 3B, Francoeur RF, Hosmer 1B, Getz 2B; Hochevar RHP.

Joe Stiglich