The A’s had won nine of 10 overall before dropping the final two games of their series in New York against the AL East-leading Yankees. Oakland had no answer for Kevin Brown on Thursday as the 39-year-old right-hander hurled eight scoreless innings in New York’s 5-1 win.
“I can’t call to mind any others that were more dominant than that,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said of Brown.
Oakland fell to 4-3 on the trip, which started with the A’s taking three of four from AL West-leading Texas. However, though they have been competitive on this 11-game road trip, the Athletics are just 11-23 away from Network Associates Coliseum since May 25.
To make matters worse, the A’s went 0-6 last season at the Metrodome.
Scott Hatteberg, who was relegated to designated hitter duty on Thursday because of a sore right Achilles’, should be back at first base on Friday. Hatteberg went 5-for-12 in the series against the Yankees, including a two-homer, five-RBI game on Tuesday.
“It’s something I’ve had to deal with the last couple of years,” Hatteberg said of his injury. “It’s not serious. I can run and stuff. There’s just certain movements that bother it.”
The A’s are 18-9 against the AL Central this season.
The Twins are coming off an 8-3 loss to Anaheim on Thursday, which ended their four-game winning streak. Despite the loss, Minnesota has won six straight series and 13 of its last 16 games.
“Oakland is a good team,” said Hunter, who is batting .354 (11-for-31) with three homers and six RBIs during his eight-game hitting streak. “We need to come with our ‘A’ game and be ready to play.”
Shannon Stewart has hit safely in 20 of his last 23 games, batting .351 (33-for-94) with six doubles, a home run and nine RBIs in that span.