Twins 7, Athletics 2
Manager Ron Gardenhire ran down the list of everything that went
right for his Minnesota Twins this time. Timely hitting and a solid
outing from Brian Duensing to start.
”We were due,” Gardenhire said.
Josh Willingham drove in two runs against his former team, Joe
Mauer hit a two-run single and the Twins snapped Oakland’s
four-game winning streak and a five-game skid of their own with a
7-2 victory over the Athletics on Monday night.
Brian Duensing (3-8) struck out seven and walked one in six
innings to win for the first time in three starts after consecutive
losses, helping the Twins bounce back from a three-game weekend
sweep at Seattle to begin a 10-game road trip.
Darin Mastroianni had an RBI single and added a sacrifice fly in
the eighth and No. 9 hitter Pedro Florimon joined Willingham and
Mauer with three hits apiece for Minnesota, which went 4 for 11
with runners in scoring position a day after missing in all 10 such
chances in the series finale at Seattle.
Coming off a series sweep in Seattle that dropped them a
season-low 15 games out of first place in the AL Central, the Twins
came through with the big hits when it mattered.
”Right from the get-go. We got some runs in there early, had a
little bit of a lead and kept getting some base hits and quality
at-bats,” Gardenhire said. ”And Duens did his thing. It was a
nice night. We got to run around the bases a little bit. Some guys
had some good nights.”
Oakland had its five-game home win streak snapped with just the
club’s 11th loss in 37 games at the Coliseum since June 6. But the
A’s will have a new addition to their lineup come Tuesday night’s
middle game of the series. The team announced in the seventh inning
it had acquired veteran shortstop Stephen Drew from Arizona for
minor league infielder Sean Jamieson.
Oakland’s players found out when the swap was announced over the
public address system.
”He plays the same position, so I guess we’ll see what
happens,” current shortstop Cliff Pennington said.
A’s starter Brandon McCarthy (6-5) surrendered three straight
one-out hits in the first, including Willingham’s RBI double.
Trevor Plouffe also drew a bases-loaded walk as the Twins took a
quick 2-0 lead.
McCarthy’s night was done after he gave up Willingham’s third
hit, an infield single in the fourth. Travis Blackley pitched 5 2-3
innings of relief.
McCarthy, Oakland’s opening day starter, was knocked out after 3
1-3 innings for his shortest outing since also going 3 1-3 on Aug.
12 last year against Texas. His 10 hits allowed matched his
second-highest total of the season and he was tagged for a
season-high six runs.
”Beginning to end, mechanically I felt completely out of
whack,” he said. ”I just didn’t feel I had any idea where the
ball was going. I was horrible in the bullpen. Nothing at any point
felt right. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a day like this
where I want a rewind button to get back to the beginning and start
The lanky right-hander has lost back-to-back starts during a
three-start winless streak that followed a 6-0 stretch over seven
outings before going on the disabled list from June 24-Aug. 10 with
a strained throwing shoulder.
”It was completely one of those days almost mentally just write
off as fast as you can as just being a fluke thing and get back to
work,” he added.
Josh Donaldson hit a run-scoring double and Josh Reddick added
an RBI groundout for the A’s, who had won four straight games to
move a season high-tying 10 games over .500 – but they missed going
11 games over for the first time since finishing the 2006 season at
93-69. That team was the last to make the playoffs, reaching the AL
championship series before being swept in four games by the
Derek Norris had two hits to lead Oakland, which couldn’t do
much against the lefty Duensing. He allowed two runs and five
”It was fun. That’s the way the game should be played, and
that’s the way we tend to play the game,” Duensing said. ”For us
to be able to go out there and execute and get runners on and score
first, it’s what you ask for.”
The A’s seemed to appreciate the front office’s efforts to keep
improving the surprise contender.
”He’s a good player, so if he comes along and jumps in and fits
in and helps us win, we’re all for it,” second baseman Jemile
Weeks said of Drew. ”I guess they’re trying to make a push.”
Former Oakland star Willingham received scattered boos from the
small crowd of 10,274 when he came to the plate in the first. Most
of those fans were gone by the late innings with the A’s
Minnesota ended a three-game skid in the series with the A’s
after being swept at home in the teams’ first games following the
All-Star break. The Twins took all three meetings in late May.
Notes: Minnesota played without CF Denard Span for the seventh
straight game because of a sore right shoulder. He underwent an MRI
exam on his collarbone Monday in San Francisco and is scheduled for
an MRI on the shoulder Tuesday. … Florimon stole his first career
base in the second inning for the Twins after a leadoff single. …
A’s LHP Brett Anderson is back from Tommy John elbow ligament
replacement surgery, set to make his season debut Tuesday night.
Anderson was activated from the 60-day disabled list Monday, ready
to pitch in the major leagues again for the first time since
undergoing surgery 13 months ago. … Coco Crisp stole his 27th
base. … McCarthy was handed his first career loss to the Twins in
five starts and 10 appearances. He beat Minnesota on July 31 with a
nine-strikeout performance. … Oakland will make corresponding
moves to its 25-man and 40-man rosters upon the arrival of Drew,
who returned in late June from a serious ankle injury that
sidelined him for 137 games. He is hitless in his last 15