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A's Anderson is back in top form, but Braden's future looks murky

The SportsXchange

There was all sorts of news when it came to the Oakland A's pitching staff Monday.

First, there was Brett Anderson's continued blazing return from Tommy John surgery. He worked seven scoreless innings in Oakland's 3-0 win at Cleveland, allowing two hits -- one of them disputed. Replays showed that after Anderson had retired the first 13 batters, Michael Brantley was erroneously called safe at first base by umpire Jerry Meals.

In 14 innings since coming off the disabled list, Anderson has allowed six hits, two walks and one run, giving him a 0.64 ERA. He rejoined the A's rotation one day before Bartolo Colon was suspended for violating baseball's drug policy -- and the A's got a big upgrade, as it turned out.

Also Monday, the A's announced that Travis Blackley would start Wednesday in the spot opened by Colon's suspension. Blackley is the A's long reliever, and this might just be one-time outing for him, with right-hander Dan Straily eligible to return from the minors Thursday and right-hander A.J. Griffin (shoulder strain) likely to come off the DL on Saturday.

The A's announced that left-hander Dallas Braden, who has been out all year while trying to come back from May 2011 shoulder-capsule surgery, had rotator-cuff surgery last week. Recovery time for rotator-cuff surgery is about a year, but Braden is facing long odds in coming back from two different shoulder surgeries in a 15-month span.
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