Left-hander Brett Anderson is hopeful that he can come back in time to pitch in the playoffs, if the A's make it. He suffered a strained right oblique last week and was scratched from his start on Monday. Anderson missed the first 120 games of this season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and is 4-2 with a 2.57 ERA in six starts since. He could play catch as soon as Thursday. "I don't want to get too optimistic," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We have a lot of work to do before we get to a potential place where he can pitch again. But it is encouraging that he is at the point where he is right now. I know he's very excited." A's hitters set an AL record for strikeouts in a season in the second inning of Wednesday's game against the Rangers. They came into the game with 1,322 strikeouts, two shy of the AL record set by the Rays in 2007. After Josh Reddick struck out in the first inning, Roy Oswalt fanned Yoenis Cespedes and Chris Carter in the second, giving the A's the dubious record. The Major League record was set by the D-backs (1,529) in 2010. Rangers: Darvish set to return Sunday
Yu Darvish, who was scratched on Tuesday with neck stiffness, is scheduled to return to the mound for Sunday's series finale against the Angels. He was able to play catch on Wednesday, something he couldn't do on Tuesday. "He's much better today, we'll see how he is after he gets treatment," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "If he's 100 percent before Sunday, you might see him before Sunday." The Rangers handed out Minor League awards for August and September. Right-hander Angelo Leclerc went 2-1 with a 1.26 ERA in his last six outings for the Arizona League Rangers to earn Pitcher of the Month honors while his teammate, left-hander Alexander Claudio was named the Reliever of the Month. Claudio went 3-0 with one save and a 0.77 ERA, striking out 32 and walking three in 23 1/3 innings last month. Triple-A outfielder Leonys Martin, who batted .379 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs in 24 August games, was named Player of the Month and Preston Beck was named Defender of the Month. Beck, the Rangers' fifth-round pick in this year's Draft, had a league-best 12 outfield assists for short-season Class A Spokane. Worth noting
Josh Hamilton's .321 batting average in day games this year is the fifth-best in the AL. Michael Young is hitting .311 in day games this season, good for sixth-best in the AL. Brandon Moss committed his eighth error of the year in the fourth inning of Wednesday's win over the Rangers, marking the fifth straight game the A's have committed an error. Koji Uehara threw one scoreless inning in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the A's and has tossed seven scoreless innings in nine outings this month, holding opposing hitters to a .048 batting average in September. He's retired 16 straight batters.