OAKLAND -- Jonny Gomes was named the recipient of this year's Dave Stewart Community Service Award, which recognizes an A's player for his charitable contributions throughout Northern California and across the country.

A native of Petaluma, Gomes' support of the Petaluma National Little League team went beyond being one of its most noteworthy fans, with Gomes raising money through a media campaign to cover transportation and lodging costs for the families of players at the World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

"I think it should be in the job description and it should be in the title of being a professional athlete," Gomes said. "I think you have so many avenues once you get to the top to be able to help people out."

Gomes has also supported numerous other charities, including TroopsDirect, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Returning to the Bay Area after signing a one-year deal this past offseason with an A's organization that he followed closely while growing up, Gomes has provided a valuable presence in the youthful clubhouse, as well as an important bat off the bench.

"I've said often this year that very rarely do you see guys who have the impact in the clubhouse that aren't everyday players," manager Bob Melvin said. "That shows you a little about his makeup and the pride he has in wearing this uniform. Knowing the history goes a long way. When you're trying to get back on track as an organization, it takes people of class like that who really care about being in this uniform and playing in this organization, and he is one of those."

And having watched Dave Stewart man the Oakland Coliseum mound as a young baseball fan, the magnitude of playing for the A's isn't lost on Gomes.

"Every day I step into these double doors, it's awesome for me," Gomes said. "A lot of guys see this place old and run-down, but I see the history."

Melvin still has eye on division title

OAKLAND -- While they may be closer to securing one of the two Wild Card spots, the fact that the division title is still statistically within reach means that manager Bob Melvin and the A's are still eyeing the American League West crown.

The A's are competing with the Angels and Rays for one of the two Wild Card spots, while chasing the division-leading Rangers. The Rangers and Angels kicked off a three-game series Friday, with the A's leading the Angels and Rays by two games for the second Wild Card spot while trailing the Rangers by four games for the division title, entering Friday's play.

"If you're a fan and looking for who you're rooting for in that series, there are probably mixed feelings as far as that goes," Melvin said. "But until we have an asterisk next to our name, that's always our goal."

But even with the A's game against the Mariners Friday night overlapping with the start of the Angels-Rangers game, Melvin said he isn't one to be taking a peek at the scoreboard for the score of any other game.

"I am one guy who really tries not to," Melvin said, joking that he can't multi-task well enough to be scoreboard watching. "I don't want the emotions of that, it's difficult enough to go through the emotions of our game."

Anderson throws for first time since oblique injury

OAKLAND -- Brett Anderson threw for the first time Thursday since he strained his right oblique, and was expected to throw again Friday as manager Bob Melvin remains optimistic Anderson will return in time for the postseason if the A's were to qualify.

"All signs point to him being back potentially at some point in time here, just not sure where that is," Melvin said.

Melvin said Jordan Norberto continues to progress from his left shoulder tendinitis, but that Norberto isn't as close to returning as Anderson is.

"Based on the fact that Brett has pitched semi-recently and Norberto hasn't, I think it would be very much a stretch to see Norberto in a regular-season game," Melvin said, adding that he doesn't expect Anderson to return in the regular season either. "If something were to happen if we are playing after the regular season, then those variables are still out there -- but certainly not in the regular season."