Twins-Athletics Preview

For a team undergoing plenty of change, the Oakland Athletics

don’t seem too bothered.

A different result from Tommy Milone wouldn’t hurt matters,


The left-hander seeks his first victory in more than a month

while looking to help Oakland win for the sixth time in seven games

as it hosts the Minnesota Twins in the finale of a three-game set


The Athletics have been busy the past couple days, acquiring

infielder Stephen Drew from Arizona on Monday before sending the

struggling Jemile Weeks to Triple-A Sacramento on Tuesday.

Oakland also activated Brett Anderson and Seth Smith from the

disabled list, and both contributed in Tuesday’s 4-1 win over

Minnesota. Anderson pitched seven strong innings to earn the

victory in his first start in nearly 15 months, and Smith went 2

for 2 with a pair of walks and two runs scored.

Drew, mired in a 0-for-19 slump, went hitless in his debut for

the A’s (66-56), who have won five of six and are one-half game

behind Baltimore for the AL’s second wild-card spot.

Oakland also turned its first triple play since 2000 in the

fifth inning.

“I’ve never seen a triple play in person, let alone be on the

mound for it, so it’s pretty awesome,” Anderson said. “It kind of

propelled me for the last two innings.”

The A’s hope to get another solid pitching performance with

Milone (9-9, 4.03 ERA), though he hasn’t had much success of late.

His last victory came July 14 when he gave up two runs in six

innings to beat Minnesota 9-3 despite allowing a career-worst 10


Milone is 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA in his last four outings after

allowing a fourth-inning grand slam over five innings of the

Athletics’ 6-4 win over Cleveland on Friday.

“Overall, it went all right,” Milone told the team’s official

website. “I felt good out there, … but I think just that one

pitch was really the only mistake I made all game.”

Milone started 5-1 with a 0.91 ERA while allowing six earned

runs through his first eight home outings, but he’s 0-2 with a 7.94

ERA while surrendering 15 over his last three.

He’ll face another struggling starter in Liam Hendriks, who

begins his third stint with the Twins this season.

Hendriks (0-5, 7.04) was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to

replace Nick Blackburn, who was sent to Rochester on Monday after

going 4-9 with a 7.39 ERA in 19 starts.

It remains to be seen if the Twins are better off with Hendriks,

who has never faced Oakland and is still searching for his first

major league win. He’s 9-3 with a 2.20 ERA in 16 starts in the

minors in 2012, but he’s allowed at least four runs in six of his

eight big league outings this season.

The right-hander gave up four runs in four innings of

Minnesota’s 6-4 win over Detroit on July 2 in his last start for

the Twins (51-71), who have lost 10 of 12 while scoring two or

fewer runs in six of those contests.

”Anderson really didn’t give us much of a chance,” manager Ron

Gardenhire said after Tuesday’s loss.

The A’s and Twins have split eight meetings.