OAK@TB: Anderson sprains ankle on a pitch in first

KANSAS CITY -- Though there was speculation that Brett Anderson would miss the remainder of the season, the lefty's most recent CT scans indicate otherwise.

Oakland's Opening Day starter, who has been sidelined by a stress fracture in his right foot, learned on Friday that it's healing and he no longer needs to wear the walking boot he's been sporting for seven weeks. Anderson can resume weight-bearing activities immediately.

It's undetermined as to when Anderson will return to the mound, but manager Bob Melvin strongly believes that time will come before season's end -- a notion that wasn't so certain before Friday, as surgery was thought to be a strong possibility.

The 25-year-old Anderson could wind up back in the rotation in August, as was the case last year after he finished Tommy John surgery rehab. He won each of his first four starts and finished with a 2.57 ERA, along with a .225 opponents' average in 2012, helping the A's to their first playoff appearance in six years.

Reflecting on that run Friday, Melvin said, "It was like making a trade."

Anderson was 1-4 with a 6.21 ERA through six games, including five starts, before the injury shelved him in early May.

Slumping Cespedes hits sixth in A's order

CIN@OAK: Cespedes laces an RBI single in the third

KANSAS CITY -- A slumping Yoenis Cespedes made just his second career appearance in the sixth spot of the A's batting order and first of the season against the Royals on Friday.

The outfielder last hit in the No. 6 spot in the second game of the 2012 season in Tokyo, after hitting seventh in the opener. Since, Cespedes had not batted lower than fifth, with 137 of his 194 career starts hitting in the cleanup hole.

"Just a change of scenery, and [Josh] Donaldson's been doing really well, so just a little bit of both," manager Bob Melvin said. "My guess is, he won't be there long. Sometimes all it takes is a change of scenery."

Cespedes entered Friday's series opener with just nine hits and 23 strikeouts in his last 59 at-bats -- a .153 clip over that 15-game span. Since the start of the season, Cespedes seemingly hasn't found a consistent groove. He hit .228 in April, .220 in May and .232 in June.

Still, he has 15 home runs and 42 RBIs.

"It's funny, every time I've thought about potentially dropping him down a slot or two," Melvin said, "he ends up getting a couple of big hits for us. He's a third or fourth hitter is what he is, he's just not there tonight."

Worth noting

• Melvin says he has spoken with Detroit's Jim Leyland, manager of the American League squad for this year's All-Star Game, multiple times about A's candidates, including pitchers Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour, along with third baseman Josh Donaldson.

"Of course I'm biased," Melvin said. "I've got four or five guys that I talk about. That's probably unrealistic. But, I would love to see a position player, because I know it's been awhile for that."

Catcher Ramon Hernandez was the last A's position player to make the All-Star team in 2003.