OAKLAND -- A's reliever Ryan Cook was throwing under the supervision of manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young this afternoon. Melvin said Cook was trying some mechanical adjustments that Young had picked out on film as possibly contributing to Cook's struggles this month.
Cook allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in 1/3 of an inning Thursday night. In his last 13 outings, he has thrown eight innings and allowed 20 hits.
"You go back and look at video and maybe there's some things that have gotten a little bit out of whack," Melvin said. "Curt's really good about addressing those things, and (Cook) was working on some of those today."
Melvin reiterated he's confident Cook will "fight his way through" this rough patch. His optimism comes largely from the fact Cook hasn't lost velocity off his fastball or the bite out of his breaking ball, which could be signs of fatigue or a bigger mechanical issue.
"I think it's just about him not worrying about some of the stuff that goes on," Melvin said. "If you saw the game yesterday, you get a little ground ball hit here and a little chopper over somebody's head, now you start to say, OK, here we go again.
"Those are the things he's got to stay away from, and just try to make a particular pitch. ... I believe it's only going to take one good outing for him to get back."
Meanwhile, Yoenis Cespedes (right shoulder tendinitis) returns to the A's lineup tonight after missing Thursday's game. Melvin said Cespedes still hadn't resumed throwing as of this afternoon, so "it might be for at least a few days that he's DHing."
Here's the full A's lineup against Twins left-hander Andrew Albers:
And the Twins' lineup against Bartolo Colon:
* Daric Barton gets yet another start against a left-hander over Nate Freiman. Melvin today said Freiman strained a muscle in his oblique area hitting in the cage about a week and a half ago, and that it's now keeping Freiman out of the lineup.
"He hasn't taken batting practice for a few days because of that," Melvin said. "So we're not sure when we'll get him back."
* Brett Anderson's outing Thursday marked the first time he's pitched on consecutive days in his career. After getting one out Wednesday against the Rangers, Anderson threw 1 1/3 innings against the Twins, allowing one run and three hits but striking out three. He entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth and allowed Pedro Florimon's infield single before retiring Alex Presley to end the inning.
That's the unfamiliar part for Anderson about returning as a reliever -- entering into stressful situations not of his own creating -- but Melvin said he thinks Anderson has actually looked sharper under those circumstances.
"I think the times he's been in games where it hasn't been a close score, you've seen some hits, you've seen a little bit of command issues," Melvin said. "Yesterday it looked like the stuff was a lot better because he had to be on it right away."
* The A's can knock their playoff magic number down to 1 tonight with a win and a loss by Cleveland. A win and a Texas loss would drop their magic number in the West to two.
-- Matt Kawahara