Getaway Man: Brett Anderson the perfect guy to send A’s home from arduous road trip

Healthy Anderson already has six wins this season, his largest total since going 10-9 for the Dodgers in 2015

ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 14: Brett Anderson #30 of the Oakland Athletics throws against the Texas Rangers during the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on April 14, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The A’s will turn to left-hander Brett Anderson for Wednesday afternoon’s series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field to finish an arduous 10-game road trip.

Anderson (6-4, 3.98 ERA) is just the kind of pitcher you want for getaway day. This season, he has been consistent, going at least 5 1/3 innings in 11 of his 13 starts.

“With my repertoire, when I’m throwing right, it usually leads to quick outs, pitching to contact, going deeper in games,’’ Anderson said. “Keep the ball in the ballpark. Give us a chance to win.’’

Anderson, plagued by injuries, combined for seven wins in the previous three seasons. He already has six this season, his largest total since going 10-9 for the Dodgers in 2015.

“He keeps us in games,’’ A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “Like Mike (Fiers, Tuesday night’s starter), when he comes out, we’re usually either tied or ahead. That’s all you can expect from your starters these days.’’

Anderson has not faced the Rays since April 19, 2013 when he was the losing pitcher in an 8-3 defeat.

But Tropicana Field will always be special.

“It’s where I got my first big-league win … a long, long time ago,’’ Anderson said.

It was May 20, 2009 to be exact — a 7-6 victory that was part of his 11-11 rookie campaign with the A’s.

“I faced Scott Kazmir, gave up a homer to Carlos Pena and Ryan Sweeney made a big diving catch,’’ Anderson said. “I have the lineup card from that game somewhere at my house. I haven’t pitched here a lot, but it will always be memorable because of that first win.’’

AND THE OTHER ANDERSON

Meanwhile, Melvin said right-hander Tanner Anderson, who took a shutout into the sixth inning Monday night during his major-league starting debut, will stay on the major-league roster.

For now.

“We’re going to slot him in somewhere,’’ Melvin said. “He certainly performed well enough to warrant another chance. There were a lot of distractions he had to deal with (Tanner Anderson attended Tampa’s Plant High School). It was first start after some (MLB) relief appearances (last season). He was impressive, even more so than we saw in spring training.’’

 BIRTHDAY BOY

A’s director of team travel Mickey Morabito was presented a pregame birthday cake by Melvin in the clubhouse as the players broke into applause.

“Without Mickey, we might not even be here today,’’ Melvin told the players.

On Sunday, the A’s charter aircraft was damaged when a mobile staircase was blown into a wing. Morabito, acting quickly, got a substitute plane from Northern California and the A’s headed to Florida after nearly a four-hour delay.

The artwork decorations on the cake (“Happy Birthday, Mickey!’’) included an Athletics plane with a staircase slammed into one of the wings.

MARATHON MAN

Shortstop Marcus Semien has played in every game this season (including a suspended game against the Tigers, which will resume on Sept. 6) and leads the majors in games played with 69. In fact, he has played all but six innings this season at shortstop.

Tuesday night was his 150th consecutive game played — and he has played all but 13 innings at shortstop during that span. Last season, he played 159 games (and the three he missed were due to paternity leave).

“He hasn’t shown any signs of needing a day off,’’ Melvin said. “I have given him some days off in the past. He’s as durable a player as I’ve ever had. At this point in time, I don’t see a day off for him. It may come at some point. He definitely does not want one.

“There are very few players in this day and age that you could consider going 162 (consecutive games) with. He is definitely a guy that I could. He expects to play and keeps himself ready to do it. It’s a very active spot (at shortstop), but he continues to impress us with his durability.’’

DEE-FENSE! DEE-FENSE!

The Rays have a Platinum Glove defender in center fielder Kevin Kiermaier. But prior to Tuesday night’s game, Rays manager Kevin Cash gushed over the A’s Platinum Glover, third baseman Matt Chapman.

“You watch Chapman … how he gets ready, his pitch-to-pitch routine, it’s probably the best in baseball,’’ Cash said. “He’s locked in on every pitch and he just covers so much ground. He’s able to do that because of his good footwork, his instincts and he has the arm strength.’’

Melvin echoed those thoughts.

“He continues to amaze with his defense,’’ Melvin said. “As far as he travels to get to balls, where he comes from, how deep he plays, it’s Platinum Glove-quality stuff. We continue to see it every day.’’

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