Minnesota (76-74) at Oakland (84-67)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 3:35 pm EDT Wed Sep 21, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jason Kendall and the Oakland Athletics will try to remain close in the AL West race as they shoot for a three-game sweep of the visiting Minnesota Twins.

Kendall has been on a major tear, batting .407 (22-for-54) with 10 multi-hit efforts over his last 13 games. He went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Oakland’s 8-3 win Tuesday.

Oakland, which has won three straight since losing 11 of 18, remained 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Angels.

The A’s expect to have shortstop Bobby Crosby back in the lineup Wednesday. Crosby landed hard on his fractured left ankle in Monday’s win shortly after being activated from the disabled list, and did not see action Tuesday.

“It’s sore, but I’ll be in there tomorrow (Wednesday),” Crosby said. “If I bang it up, it’s going to be sore. It’s better than it felt last night.”

Oakland starter Joe Kennedy is 0-3 with a 4.18 ERA over his last four outings. Kennedy pitched well in his last start, giving up two runs and six hits over six innings last Friday in a 3-2, 10-inning loss at Boston.

“What was overshadowed here is how good Kennedy pitched,” Oakland manager Ken Macha said. “He pitched a great game.”

The 26-year-old left-hander is 2-2 with a 6.45 ERA against Minnesota in four career starts—all with Tampa Bay. Kennedy was pounded for 10 runs and 13 hits over four innings the last time he faced the Twins on May 7, 2003.

The A’s are seeking their first three-game home sweep of the Twins since Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2002.

With Minnesota out of playoff contention, the club is making decisions for the future, including the possibility that left fielder Shannon Stewart might be shut down for the season due to his left shoulder problems.

“I’m not ruling it out, but I’d rather be all right for next year,” Stewart said. “I’ll be ready to get this year over. … I’ve been beat up this year. It’s been a tough year. I got hit in the elbow, I hurt my wrist. As soon as I started swinging the bat well, I hit the wall. I really never got into a good groove. I’ve been on the DL with injuries and felt a lot better than I have this year.”

Jason Tyner started for Stewart on Tuesday and went 1-for-4.

“We know what Stew can do, what kind of player he is,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We don’t have to worry about that. … We’ve got people we’ve got to get a look at, too. He’s given us the best he can.”

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Starting Pitchers

S. Baker LAD vs. J. Kennedy Tor
3-3 Record 8-13
3.35 ERA 6.01
32 K 97
14 BB 64
1.16 WHIP 1.68