Anderson starts second tour with A’s against Mariners

The Oakland Athletics are turning back the clock.

Again.

Manager Bob Melvin announced that left-hander Brett Anderson will return to the A’s rotation for the first time since 2013 when they meet the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night at Safeco Field in Seattle.

Anderson, 30, will take the spot of Opening Day starter Kendall Graveman, who was optioned to Triple-A Nashville last week. Anderson pitched his first five seasons with Oakland (2009-13), going 26-29 with a 3.81 ERA in 84 games (73 starts).

In the past four years, he’s pitched for the Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays while dealing with numerous injuries. He returned to the A’s in March when he agreed to a minor-league contract.

In four starts for Nashville, Anderson was 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA, with 25 strikeouts and only two walks in 19 innings.

Anderson isn’t the first to return to the A’s rotation this season.

Trevor Cahill, who pitched for Oakland from 2009-11, re-signed with the A’s this season and is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts.

“We’d like to see (Anderson) pitch in the fashion that Cahill has for us and that’s kept us in every game,” Melvin told MLB.com. “Nowadays with starters not pitching as deep into games as you’ve seen in the past, if you can get six innings and keep your team in the game, you’ve done your job. So if he can do similar to what Cahill has been doing, we’ll be pleased.”

Anderson and Cahill certainly aren’t strangers.

“For them, there’s a comfortability knowing there’s a guy you’ve been with before and you’re coming full circle,” Melvin said. “I think it makes it that much more comfortable for Brett to come in here and have somebody he knows.”

Anderson has had success against the Mariners. In 16 career appearances (15 starts), he is 8-4 with a 1.90 ERA.

The Mariners will send left-hander James Paxton (1-1, 5.12 ERA) to the mound.

Paxton is coming off one of his strongest starts of the season. In six innings Thursday in Cleveland, he allowed two runs on five hits and matched a season-high with 10 strikeouts. He’s 3-0 with a 3.96 ERA in six career starts against Oakland.

Paxton has yet to record an out in the seventh inning this season, largely because of high pitch counts in the early innings of games.

“I want to be the guy that goes seven, eight, nine innings,” Paxton told The Seattle Times. “I took a step toward getting my pitch count down (Thursday).”

Paxton’s inability to go deep hasn’t hurt the Mariners much as Juan Nicasio leads the major leagues with 11 holds and closer Edwin Diaz has a major league-best 12 saves. They both pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts Tuesday night in the opener of the three-game series, which was won by Seattle 6-3.

“Our (starting) pitching has been pretty good and the bullpen has been lights out,” Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager told MLB.com. “That is certainly led by Diaz. He’s been unbelievable so far. He’s waving that anchor back there where you feel comfortable in close games.”