Celebrating 20 wins, current A’s just hoping for three straight, plus Anderson and Reddick updates

In for Joe Stiglich …

They have a red carpet rolled out in center field for the members of the 2002 A’s team that won an AL record 20 in a row. Roy Steele is in the house the make the introductions, and he won’t be taxing his voice — just six players are on hand (Jim Mecir, Jeff Tam, Micah Bowie, Terrence Long, Scott Hatteberg and Chad Bradford) and four members of the staff (manager Art Howe, plus coaches Ken Macha, Thad Bosley and Mike Quade).

There’s a big turnout anyway, with a Hatteberg bobblehead enticement plus a postgame showing of Moneyball on the videoboards. Don’t think Howe will be sticking around for that.

The current A’s will be out for their third straight with Bartolo Colon on the mound. The lineup looks a lot better with Josh Reddick back hitting third. After his third dental procedure in five days Friday, Reddick said he was feeling much better Saturday. He was chipper enough to engage Brandon Inge in a little hockey shootout in a Coliseum hallway about 3 1/2 hours before gametime.

Reddick’s biggest issue with the tooth has been a post-extraction infection. He had the tooth removed Monday, but the infection was nasty.

“It was infected pretty bad,” he said. “They showed me the pictures of it, it was pretty ugly. The dentist said it was probably one of the worst one he’s seen over the years.”

Reddick is still on antibiotics, but he said it was therapeutic to get on the field Friday night and deliver a pinch-hit single in the winning eighth inning rally. It finally took his mind off what’s been going on inside his mouth.

“The only time I really took my mind off it was in the box,” he said. “Battling in a big situation was obviously something I hadn’t done in awhile. That all felt good to contribute in a big game in a big situation.”

On another front, Brett Anderson looks and sounds like he’s ready to make his return to a major league mound. All that’s really standing in the way is a spot for him. He threw a 40-pitch bullpen session and impressed manager Bob Melvin.

“It looked like he stepped on it a little harder than the bullpens he’s thrown here in the past,” the manager said. “He really had good stuff. So we’ll probably have a decision at some point here soon, and we will find a way to get him in there at some point. He is that good. We just have to find the right time for it.”

Melvin was vague as to how Anderson might be worked in, but indicated performance and matchups by the current rotation will probably dictate it. With such a short bench, particularly when Seth Smith returns from the D.L.,  he doesn’t foresee a six-man rotation being utilized until rosters expand in September … if that happens at all.

Anderson is trying to be as patient as possible, but maintains he’s ready to rock.

“I’m sure my (velocity) is not where it was in parts of 2009 and 2010,  but that’s going to come the more I build up my arm strength,” he said. “I like where my other pitches are. My slider was good in my last start and my pitch count went pretty high. But there are only so many spots in the rotation, so we’ll see what happens.”

Anderson has already made five rehab appearances in the minor leagues, so there’s not much more to accomplish there. He threw 96 pitches in his last outing, so he’s as extended out pitch-count wise as the A’s want to take him.

“I’m very eager,” said Anderson. “Pitching in front 350 people in New Orleans after a rain delay wasn’t that much fun. There’s a little more at stake here and a little more adrenalin when you’re facing a big league team in a big league ballpark.”

Anderson has thrown as high as 94 mph, so it’s not like his velocity is wanting.

“It’s getting close,” he said. “I’m sure next year I’ll be back to normal, but I feel I can pitch with the velocity I have right now. I feel pretty confident that as long as my elbow’s healthy, I’m going to be able to get people out. I feel like I’m there.”

The way things work with the A’s, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Anderson back on the mound sometime in the next week.

Tonight’s lineups:

OAK: Crisp CF, Donaldson 3B, Reddick RF, Cespedes LF, Carter DH, Moss 1B, Kottaras C, Pennington SS, Weeks 2B. Colon P

CLE: Kipnis 2B, Cabrera SS, Choo RF, Santana C, Brantley CF, Duncan DH, Kotchman 1B, Hannahan 3B, Carrera LF. Kluber P







Carl Steward