Anderson looking to win out

Anderson looking to win out

OAKLAND -- A's left-hander Brett Anderson had a goal heading into his highly anticipated rookie season: double-digit wins.

"Winning 10 games in the big leagues in tough," Anderson said after reaching that milestone and improving to .500 on the year with six innings of four-hit work against the Indians on Friday.

Now Anderson, 21, is setting his sights a touch higher.

To get there, he'll have to win his final two starts, the first of which is scheduled for Thursday in the finale of a four-game series against the Rangers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

"That'd be great, especially with the struggles I had earlier the year," he said Wednesday. "The goal is 12-10. That would be a pretty good rookie campaign."

Having claimed a spot in the starting rotation in his first trip to big league Spring Training, Anderson had an ERA of 5.01 in April, 6.38 in May and 5.00 in June. He turned a corner by going 2-1 with a 1.87 ERA in five July starts, and he's 3-0 with a 2.50 ERA in three starts in September.

What's changed?

"I'm just trusting my stuff," he explained. "You can't second-guess yourself. I was second-guessing myself earlier in the season, and I'm not doing that as much anymore because I'm trusting my stuff more.

"I've made a few physical adjustments, but trusting myself and having a great catcher back there [in Kurt Suzuki] has been the biggest thing."

Anderson, who is 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA over his past 10 starts, credits the advanced workout environment of the Majors for keeping him strong throughout the grind of his longest professional season. He's thrown 164 2/3 innings, up from 105 in two Minor League stops last year.

"Everything about it is better up here," he said. "You have a program and you can stick with it because every stadium has a weight room, and you have more people helping you out. It's just a lot more consistent. In the Minors, it's really hard to be consistent with everything you do."

Pitching matchup
OAK: LHP Brett Anderson (10-10, 4.21 ERA)
Anderson put together one of his sharpest outings of the year his last time out, striking out a career-high 10 over six shutout innings. He was taken out after 89 pitches because the A's are monitoring his workload, and he likely won't be allowed to throw more than 90 pitches in either of his final two assignments. His command has been tremendous of late, as he's averaging one walk over his past six assignments. With three strikeouts against the Rangers, whom he held to two runs on six hits over 7 2/3 innings on Aug. 3, Anderson will set the Oakland rookie record for strikeouts in a season at 142.

TEX: RHP Scott Feldman (17-5, 3.62 ERA)
Feldman won his 17th game in a 3-2 victory over the Angels on Saturday and has three more starts, giving him a chance to become the fourth 20-game winner in Rangers history. His 17 wins are the second most by a Rangers pitcher this decade behind 18 won by Kenny Rogers in 2004. Feldman, 26, is the third-youngest pitcher in club history to win 17 games. He is 12-1 with a 2.58 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) on the road this season. He is 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA in three starts against the Athletics.

Dribblers ...
A's manager Bob Geren expressed surprise at media reports suggesting that outfielder Scott Hairston (left hip, back) might be done for the season, reiterating that Hairston is day-to-day. "We kind of laughed about it when we saw it on TV," he said. Hairston, however, on Tuesday said he's been playing in pain since July and is hesitant to take the field again until he's pain-free. He's also been dealing with a strained left hamstring. ... Rookie outfielder Matt Carson, a right-handed hitter who slammed his first big league homer on Monday, likely won't get another start until Sunday, when the A's face Angels lefty Joe Saunders in the finale of a three-game series in Anaheim. ... Eric Patterson, who has started the past two games in left field, is expected to get a start at second base on Thursday to give Mark Ellis a day off. ... The A's have a day off on Monday, but they plan on sticking with a six-man rotation through the end of the season. ... Add lefty reliever Jay Marshall to the list of A's pitchers whose seasons have ended early, joining Joey Devine (elbow), Justin Duchscherer (elbow, back, clinical depression), Josh Outman (elbow), Dallas Braden (left foot), Dan Giese (elbow), Vin Mazzaro (shoulder) and Brett Tomko (shoulder). Marshall has shoulder tendinitis and is heading home for the winter on Thursday. Geren said Mazzaro (shoulder tendinitis) is leaving the team on Thursday, too.

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Up next
• Friday: Athletics (Gio Gonzalez, 5-6, 6.15) at Angels (Jered Weaver, 15-7, 3.87), 7:05 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Athletics (Dana Eveland, 2-3, 6.50) at Angels (John Lackey, 11-8, 3.56), 6:05 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Athletics (Edgar Gonzalez, 0-3, 5.22) at Angels (Joe Saunders, 14-7, 4.63), 12:35 p.m. PT

Mychael Urban is a national writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.