BOSTON -- Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss brought lots of joy to Boston Children's Hospital on Monday and left with even more, along with some perspective.
Reddick and Moss, joined by first-base coach Tye Waller, paid a two-hour visit to 11-year-old Aaron Hern, a sixth-grader at Martinez (Calif.) Junior High School, who was seriously injured in the Boston Marathon bombings.
"The kid was really strong," said Reddick. "He had a great morale, and he was just handling everything well. It was good to see that he had that kind of spirit."
Particularly just a week after his life was forever altered.
Hern was in Boston to watch his mother, Katherine, compete in the Marathon, but the celebration quickly took an unimaginable turn upon the detonation of two bombs, the second of which sent shrapnel into his leg. He has had multiple surgeries but is expected to be walking on his own by week's end.
"They say he'll make a full recovery, which is great," Reddick said. "We tried to talk about anything but what happened, just to keep his mind off it, to help focus his day on something else besides being in a hospital and being hurt, getting his mind off those things and putting a smile on his face.
"Every time I do something like that, I feel like it's a great learning opportunity for myself to not take anything for granted in my life and not complain about being injured or whining about the little things."
Though life appeared normal at Fenway Park, where the A's began a three-game set with the Red Sox on Monday, much of the surroundings were anything but, as witnessed by many members of Oakland's traveling party.
"It was a pretty eerie feeling last night driving up, because you look down Boylston [Street] and it's still closed, and you see all the TV trucks and everything still parked in the area," manager Bob Melvin said. "You can only imagine what it was like during that time.
"But that's the great thing about baseball and sports. We're able to provide some entertainment for two or three hours, and you have to feel good about that, but our hearts go out to everyone that had to deal with what went on here."
"It's a wakeup call," added Reddick. "Driving by the site where it all went down, it kind of makes your heart sink a bit."
Yet from tragedy comes healing, and Reddick and Moss hope they did their best to help Hern with that process.
"To see his face light up that soon and to see him doing so well so soon after an explosion like that is unreal," Reddick said. "I thought I got more out of it than him. I'm just so grateful for everything in this life. He really put that into perspective for us today."
A's add Wells to outfield mix
BOSTON -- The A's added to their collection of outfielders on Monday, acquiring Casper Wells from the Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations.
Wells joined the A's in Boston on Tuesday, when the club optioned outfielder Michael Taylor to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for Wells on the 25-man roster. To clear a spot for Wells on the 40-man roster, the A's transferred infielder Scott Sizemore to the 60-day disabled list.
The 28-year-old Wells hasn't seen big league action since Spring Training, during which he hit .189 with two home runs and 14 RBIs in 16 games with Seattle before the Mariners designated him for assignment on March 31. He was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays 10 days later but did not appear in a game before again being designated on April 15.
The A's are getting a right-handed hitter with an above-average arm who can roam all three outfield positions. Manager Bob Melvin said that Wells' role will be discussed further upon his arrival, though it's likely he'll get his playing time strictly vs. lefties.
"He's a hard-nosed guy," said catcher John Jaso, who played with Wells in Seattle last year. "I watched him make a lot of good catches out in the outfield, those full sprints into the walls and snagging those balls you don't think will get caught. I think he's a great addition to the team. When his bat's going good, he can provide you a lot of pop."
Wells hit .228 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs in 93 games for the Mariners last year, leading the team with eight outfield assists and never committing an error in 159 chances.
A's encouraged by Cespedes' batting-practice session
BOSTON -- Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes participated in batting practice on Monday for the first time since hitting the disabled list, his injured left hand appearing to be no issue.
That's an extremely encouraging sight for the A's, who expect Cespedes to continue taking swings in Boston before beginning a two-day rehab stint in Sacramento on Friday. That puts him on track for a return on Sunday, when he's eligible to come off the DL.
"If things go well here," manager Bob Melvin said, "we'll get him a couple of games Friday and Saturday. I'm probably getting ahead of myself, but to be here taking batting practice certainly is a step in the right direction."
The A's certainly would like to regain the slugger sooner rather than later. They're 8-2 with him in the lineup, compared with 4-5 in games he doesn't start. It was a similar story last year, when Oakland went 82-46 with Cespedes in the lineup and 12-22 without him.
Anderson on track for Wednesday's start
BOSTON -- If there was any doubt that Brett Anderson would make his scheduled start in Boston on Wednesday, it's quickly dissipating.
The lefty, who exited Friday's loss to the Rays after the first inning because of a sprained right ankle, said on Monday that he's "good to go for Wednesday."
Manager Bob Melvin also said just as much.
"Everything is on schedule at this point for him," Melvin said.
Anderson threw what Melvin deemed "a very aggressive side" in St. Petersburg on Sunday, and on Monday he said he was encouraged by how the ankle responded, though some more running drills later in the day gave him an even better indication of his progress.
"I can obviously feel it a little bit when running," Anderson said, "but other than that, it feels good."
Anderson, who will be opposed by Jon Lester on Wednesday, is 5-2 with a 2.70 ERA in eight career starts against the Red Sox.
• Boston native Nate Freiman was treated to his first start at Fenway Park on Monday, serving as designated hitter for the series opener against the Red Sox. He and his family attended several games there when he was a youngster.
"He knew last night. Hopefully, he slept," Melvin said. "I know he's excited, with a lot of family members out here. It is a good story, and great to see somebody like that who's so enthusiastic. He's been that way since he got here, but tonight will be a special night for him."
• Shortstop Hiro Nakajima (hamstring) began play on Monday in extended spring training in Arizona, where he'll remain, getting several at-bats before taking his rehab to one of the A's Minor League affiliates.
• Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, Oakland's clubhouse ringleader last year, wasn't around to chat with his former teammates before Monday's game, as he was attending to the birth of his third child.