Twins-Athletics Preview

Although it’s three weeks past the non-waiver trade deadline,

the Oakland Athletics made a couple moves Monday that should

bolster their roster for a playoff push.

Sidelined for more than 14 months after Tommy John surgery,

Brett Anderson is slated to take the ball against the Minnesota

Twins on Tuesday night, when he should have Stephen Drew behind him

at shortstop.

Anderson was activated from the 60-day disabled list prior to

Monday’s 7-2 loss to the Twins, which snapped Oakland’s four-game

winning streak, and will be appearing in his first game since June

5, 2011. The 24-year-old left-hander has lost more than 20 pounds

from his previous playing weight of 248, and noticed he felt

stronger later in games during his minor league appearances.

In six rehab starts, he went 1-1 with a 4.97 ERA.

“We feel like this could be a nice little shot in the arm for

us,” manager Bob Melvin said.

The A’s (65-56) are obviously hoping the acquisition of Drew

from Arizona on Monday for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson

will do the same.

The 29-year-old Drew is batting .193 with two home runs and 12

RBIs in 40 games since coming back June 26 from a fractured right

ankle that sidelined him for nearly a year. Despite his

unflattering numbers, the A’s haven’t been getting much production

as it is from Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales. Oakland’s

shortstops are last in the majors in batting at .188 and in RBIs

with 30.

“It’ll be refreshing and a new start,” Drew said. “It’s a good

feeling to go over there and still be competing (for the

postseason).”

The A’s are a half-game back of Baltimore for the AL’s final

playoff spot.

“I want to go out there and pitch well because we need to win

ballgames,” said Anderson, who must earn and keep his spot in the

rotation. “So it’s going to be that much more pressure filled, but

I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Anderson won 11 games as a rookie in 2009 and led all Oakland

starters with a 2.80 ERA in 19 games the following year. Before his

injury last season, he was 3-6 with a 4.00 ERA.

He is 2-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his last three starts against the

Twins with 14 strikeouts to one walk over 21 2-3 innings.

This will be his first time facing Josh Willingham, who has been

wreaking havoc on his former team this season.

Willingham went 3 for 5 with a double and two RBIs Monday – just

the second win in 11 games for Minnesota (51-70) – and is batting

.444 with five homers and 14 RBIs in seven games against Oakland

this year.

Minnesota rookie Cole De Vries (2-4, 5.04 ERA), who allowed four

runs and eight hits in four innings of Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to

Detroit, has already faced the A’s twice. The right-hander gave up

two hits in five scoreless innings May 29 while walking five, but

yielded seven runs in five innings of a 9-3 loss July 14.

Yoenis Cespedes is 2 for 3 with a homer and double against De

Vries, while Josh Reddick is 2 for 5.

Cespedes, who singled and scored Monday, is 9 for 18 with six

RBIs and six runs in four games against Minnesota this year.