HOU@OAK: Freiman grounds an RBI single up the middle

ANAHEIM -- First baseman Nate Freiman has made steady progress in his rehab from an abdominal strain in recent days, giving the A's confidence he could be available off the bench for this weekend's three-game set in Seattle.

He could even get a start come Sunday, with lefty James Paxton scheduled to pitch for the Mariners.

"He did well yesterday and didn't really feel it at all," manager Bob Melvin said. "So he'll take batting practice in the cage today."

Freiman began Wednesday morning in Anaheim taking 60 swings off a tee, saying afterward, "Everything feels great. That's very encouraging for me."

Unfortunately, as the rookie Freiman noted, the A's have an off-day in Seattle on Thursday, but he joked he may try to sneak into Safeco Field or scope out a local batting cage to get in some work in advance of the club's final regular-season series.

Even if healthy, Freiman isn't guaranteed a spot on Oakland's postseason roster, particularly because of Daric Barton's continued production at first base. Moreover, should the A's face Detroit in the American League Division Series, as it sets up now, they'll be facing four right-handed starters, lessening the need for an extra right-handed bat like Freiman's.

He hasn't played since Sept. 16, going just 2-for-12 in his previous six games, grounding into four double plays in that time. But he's still batting .306 on the season vs. lefties, with 48 of his 50 starts coming against them.

Tickets for A's ALCS games to go on sale Friday

Lowrie, Reddick discuss ballclub's 2013 success

ANAHEIM -- A's single-game tickets for potential American League Championship Series home games at the Coliseum will go on sale Friday, the club announced Wednesday morning.

Tickets will be available at 10 a.m. PT and can be purchased at the Coliseum box office or by calling 877-493-2255. However, fans are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets online at oaklandathletics.com.

The A's plan to make use of dynamic pricing on all games to accurately set and adjust ticket prices in real time. Any tickets purchased for games not played are refundable.

The club has not yet determined whether to open the third deck for ALCS games, as it will do for AL Division Series contests. But if ticket demands are as high as they have been for ALDS games, the decision should be an easy one.

The A's sold out the first two levels for ALDS home games in two hours, prompting them to announce they'll remove the upper-level tarps to bring in an additional 12,000-plus fans. With the upper deck open, minus the peak of Mount Davis, capacity will be 48,146. Normal capacity is 35,067, which is what it was for the ALDS last year when the Tigers came to town.

Tickets are still available for ALDS games.

Worth noting

• In an attempt to rest at least one regular a day in the final week of regular-season play, with the division already clinched, manager Bob Melvin gave third baseman Josh Donaldson the day off for Wednesday's series finale in Anaheim.

Donaldson went 0-for-4 on Tuesday night, snapping his 28-game streak of reaching base safely via hit or walk. It was the longest streak by an A's player over the last five years. He hit .364 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 20 RBIs, along with 17 walks, during the streak.

Yoenis Cespedes remained at designated hitter for a ninth straight time Wednesday, though he remains on track to return to left field on Friday in Seattle, barring any setback with his right shoulder.