OAKLAND -- A's right-hander Brandon McCarthy got through a 25-pitch bullpen session without any issues on Wednesday, putting him in the clear for Friday's start in Chicago.
It will be his first in the Majors since June 19, after dealing with the same right shoulder soreness that has plagued much of his career.
Though he was missed, the A's have done just fine without him, moving from four games under .500 (32-36) at the time of his setback to eight above it (59-51) entering Wednesday.
When healthy, McCarthy is one of the league's best, having compiled a 2.54 ERA in 12 starts for the A's this year. The club's Opening Day starter completed at least six innings in all but two of those outings and has gotten through seven in seven outings.
When stepping to the mound Friday against the White Sox, one of his former clubs, the 29-year-old McCarthy will be expected to tally 80-90 pitches. He'll take the rotation spot of the injured A.J. Griffin,
"He's very efficient with his pitches," A's pitching coach Curt Young said of McCarthy. "That's the key to his game. He gets a lot of early outs and makes things happen quick."
McCarthy made two rehab stints with Triple-A Sacramento, his most recent coming Sunday, when he threw just 73 pitches despite striking out nine over six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and issuing two walks.
His return is welcome news for an already pitching-rich A's, who are also close to getting lefty Brett Anderson back. Anderson is slated to throw 90 pitches for the River Cats in Oklahoma City on Friday, before throwing 100 five days later, at which point the A's will assess his readiness for big league action.
A's to fete 10th anniversary of 20-game win streak
OAKLAND -- The A's will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the club's record-breaking 20-game win streak during the next homestand.
The weekend celebration, spanning Aug. 17-19, while the Indians are in town, will feature appearances by several players from the movie-inspiring 2002 squad. Hero Scott Hatteberg, whose game-winning homer capped victory No. 20, will be on hand, as will manager Art Howe, bench coach Ken Macha, outfielders Jermaine Dye and Terrance Long, and pitchers Chad Bradford, Jim Mecir, Jeff Tam and Micah Bowie.
On Aug. 17, they will sign autographs for fans in the Westside Club, with proceeds benefiting the Cory Lidle Foundation. Autograph tickets are $20 per session, with three sessions scheduled -- each featuring three to four players. Ticket sales will begin at 5:35 p.m. PT, near Section 216, outside the Westside doors, with the sessions running from 7-8:30 p.m.
A special pregame, on-field reunion honoring members of the 2002 team will highlight the next day's schedule of events. Moreover, the first 10,000 fans to enter the park will receive a Hatteberg bobblehead that features a sound chip of the late Bill King's radio calls from the 20th victory.
The celebration will continue into the night, as fans are invited to an on-field viewing of "Moneyball" after the game. Fans must purchase these tickets ahead of time. In addition, a limited number of fans who made a donation to the Cory Lidle Foundation will take part in a special meet-and-greet with members of '02 team before the game.
Finally, on Aug. 19, 10,000 fans will receive an A's 20-game win streak T-shirt.
Yoenis Cespedes, limited to designated hitter duties since spraining his right wrist Friday, was back in left field for Wednesday's series finale against the Angels.
With four homers in Tuesday's contest, the A's now have four four-homer games this year. They had a total of one four-homer game over the previous two seasons combined.