American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, August 20th
(All times Eastern)
Minnesota Twins (50-70) at Oakland Athletics (65-55), 10:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Minnesota - Brian Duensing (2-8, 4.69)
Oakland - Brandon McCarthy (6-4, 2.68)
(Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics eye their fifth straight win on
Monday when they kick off a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins at
The A's return home tonight following a 5-4 road trip that culminated with a
three-game sweep of the Cleveland Indians. On Sunday, Coco Crisp smacked a
three-run homer among his three hits and drove in a career-high five runs as
Oakland blanked the Indians, 7-0.
"He's a guy who we rely on at the top of the order," A's manager Bob Melvin
said of Crisp. "He creates havoc up there, and he also comes up big."
Jarrod Parker (8-7), who was 0-3 with a 5.71 earned run average in August
coming in, spun eight innings of six-hit ball for Oakland, which had dropped
seven of 10 before this current run.
Hoping to extend that streak tonight will be righty Brandon McCarthy, who is
6-4 with a 2.68 ERA. McCarthy lost to the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday, but
pitched well, as he gave up three runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He
also struck out four without walking a batter.
"These are the games that I think we've expected to win all year and been
winning, and to give that up late like that is -- we need to do better than
this," McCarthy said. "I'm not happy with myself, and there's a lot of things
we could've done today to be better."
McCarthy has faced the Twins nine times (4 starts) and is 2-0 with a 2.43 ERA.
Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Brian Duensing, who has
surrendered nine runs in losing his last two starts. Duensing was hit hard by
the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, as he surrendered five runs and eight hits in
six innings, dropping him to 2-8, while raising his ERA to 4.69.
Oddly enough, in the first two innings of games, Duensing has a 9.56 ERA, far
higher than his 3.47 ERA in all others.
"I don't know what the deal is with the first two innings," Duensing said.
"It's kinda been like that for a little bit. That's been one of the
frustrating parts. I feel like I'm really close to figuring it out, but I
don't know if I'm too amped up coming out. The ball seems to be up in the
Duensing gave up six runs in two innings of a loss to the A's back on July 15
and is 2-1 with a 3.75 ERA in seven games (3 starts) against them.
Minnesota enters this series having lost five straight following a three-game
sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners that ended with a 5-1 loss on
Samuel Deduno (4-1) took the loss after allowing two runs on five hits with
six walks and two strikeouts. Trevor Plouffe knocked in the only run of the
game with a sacrifice fly for the Twins, who have dropped nine of 10.
The Twins haven't scored more than four runs in the past five games.
"A bad series here. We scored six runs in three days," Twins manager Ron
Gardenhire said. "That's not good enough. They pitched well, but we sure
missed out on a lot of opportunities."
Minnesota has split its six meetings with the A's this season after the teams
went 4-4 against one another a year ago.
08/20 10:53:46 ET