PHOENIX -- Brett Anderson likes international baseball competition.
He pitched for Team USA in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and he was on the mound for three scoreless innings Tuesday as the A's beat Team Italy 4-3 in an exhibition that helped the Italians gear up for the World Baseball Classic.
Anderson said that he'd like to pitch in the WBC if it works out. As it is, he is the last U.S. pitcher to collect a win in the Olympic Games, hurling seven innings to beat Team Japan in the bronze medal game in Beijing.
"It would be better if it had been for the gold," Anderson said after his one-hit, one-walk effort against Italy. "It's too bad they've taken baseball out of the Olympics. They're doing it to wrestling, too, and that was like the first Olympic sport effort. It's too bad they are taking those sports out and leaving others in."
Anderson will have to wait for international competition until at least the 2017 WBC. Meanwhile, he's settling in as the opening night 2013 pitcher for the A's. He has four more starts before he faces the Seattle Mariners in the season opener at the Coliseum.
"When is that, April 1?'' he said. "I should know that. I'm just getting ready now. My command was OK today, and my velo (velocity) is not quite there yet."
The A's took a 4-0 lead after three innings behind Anderson and held on, not getting the final out until getting the call on a bang-bang play at the plate in the top of the ninth.
Starter Bartolo Colon gave up four runs in the first inning and another in the second. He didn't walk anyone but yielded five hits, including a solo homer to account Kansas City's run in the second.
The A's got nine hits but were never in the game. Hiroyuki Nakajima doubled and scored a run and John Jaso and Miles Head each had RBI singles.
Reddick, a huge fan of WWE wrestling, has taken the challenge by the WWE's Daniel Bryan to spend the rest of this year growing the fullest and most luxuriant beard possible.
The winner will be determined by fans voting online at the end of the year, and "the loser has to shave it all off,'' Reddick said Tuesday.
"I'm already hearing trash talk from his fans," Reddick said of the challenge, which he accepted Tuesday morning. "I know a bunch of the WWE guys, but I've never met him."
Reddick reported to FanFest in Oakland in January with a full beard that he started growing in November. Bryan reportedly has been growing his beard for about 12 months.
"He has a bit of a head start," Reddick acknowledged. "Here's hoping I'm a fast grower."
Reddick has been known to alter his facial hair depending on his batting average and run production, so he called teammate Coco Crisp aside after striking the deal.
"I told Coco that if I was tempted to shave, don't let me do it," Reddick said.
He said that he may be at a bit of a voting disadvantage; he has about 35,000 Twitter followers (@joshreddick16). Bryan has about 580,000 (@WWEDanielBryan).