SEATTLE -- Coming back from Tommy John surgery is not a simple task, but A's pitcher Brett Anderson is making it seem like it is.The lefty has been nothing short of brilliant since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 20. He's 4-0 in four starts, giving up just two runs while maintaining a blistering 0.69 ERA. Even Anderson didn't expect this much success so soon. "It's exceeded my expectations a little bit, but you have to be confident in your abilities," Anderson said. "I knew if I came back and was healthy and the arm felt good that I would have good results -- not quite this good -- but I'll take it, obviously." A's skipper Bob Melvin agreed. "It's been more than we could ever have expected," Melvin said. Anderson picked up his fourth win in Saturday's 6-1 win over Seattle, giving up just six hits and no runs in six innings. But the soft-spoken 24-year-old allowed runners on base every inning and called the start his "most grinding" yet. "I know I'll be in those situations at the end of the season against teams that will put pressure on you," he said. "To be able to get out of those situations was good and hopefully I won't be in too many of those, but getting out of those situations was a plus." Anderson's recent surge comes at a good time for the American League Wild Card-leading A's, especially with fellow starter Brandon McCarthy out indefinitely as he recovers from a head injury sustained when he was struck with a batted ball on Wednesday. "It's not like I'm coming up and throwing meaningless innings, prepping myself for next year," Anderson said. "I have to come out and produce because we're in the playoff race and we need to win ballgames."
Drew getting comfortable with Athletics
SEATTLE -- It's not easy coming from a team you've been with for six years and fitting in with a new group of guys late in the season, but Oakland's new shortstop, Stephen Drew, is jelling quite nicely.After spending his whole career with Arizona, Drew arrived in Oakland via trade on Aug. 20. Once Jemile Weeks was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento one day later, Drew was thrown right into the fire as the A's starting shortstop. He struggled in August, hitting just .205, but recently the Georgia native has found a groove. Drew, the younger brother of former big leaguer J.D. Drew, is batting .333 this month and has started 16 of the A's 17 games since his arrival. Last month, the 29-year-old was hitting the ball hard and still drawing walks, but just ran into some tough luck. That's been changing recently. "A month before, I just didn't have anything to show for it," Drew said prior to Sunday's tilt against Seattle. "I was hitting the ball well, but that's just the way baseball is. That's why you play six months to see what happens. I feel good at the plate and everything is feeling good right now." Manager Bob Melvin has been impressed with Drew and understands that it takes time for a player to get comfortable in a new environment. "He's feeling more and more like a part of this team," Melvin said. "Especially for someone who's been with one organization his entire career at Arizona, it's a little bit of a transition. But he's been really consistent for us, especially as of late."
There were no new updates on the recovery of McCarthy, just four days after the starter was hit in the head by a batted ball Wednesday night. Oakland trainer Nick Paparesta said on Saturday that McCarthy was improving, but added that he was not completely out of the "critical" stage of recovery. Backup catcher George Kottaras has 13 RBIs and four home runs in his past five games. He started both Friday and Saturday, but Melvin put Derek Norris back behind the plate on Sunday with Mariners lefty Jason Vargas on the mound. The A's extended their road winning streak to eight games with Saturday's 6-1 win over Seattle, which ties the club's sixth longest winning streak in history.
Taylor Soper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.