The surging A’s look to extend their longest winning streak in three seasons while trying to hand the visiting Twins a fourth consecutive loss Tuesday night.
The victory was the seventh straight for the last-place A’s, who have the longest current winning streak in the majors and the club’s longest since a 10-game run from June 8-18, 2006.
“It’s huge to start a new series and set the tone,” said Cust, whose only three hits in his last six games have been home runs.
Minnesota (28-31), meanwhile, is 1-3 on a 10-game road trip. The Twins, who are 7-19 on the road, have lost 14 of their last 17 away from the Metrodome.
“Another disappointing loss,” manager Ron Gardenhire said of the latest effort by the Twins, who’ve scored 16 runs in their last seven road games since winning 20-1 at Chicago on May 21.
Minnesota, however, isn’t the only club to be stymied by Oakland pitchers of late.
Though the A’s have an AL-worst .239 batting average, they’ve outscored the White Sox, Baltimore and Minnesota 42-11 during the winning streak. The pitching staff has a 1.43 ERA and their starters are 7-0 during that span.
“The pitchers are doing their part and we’ve been doing just enough offensively,” Cust said.
The 21-year-old left-hander allowed six hits and struck out four in seven innings of a 7-0 win over the White Sox on Thursday. Anderson is 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA in his last four starts after posting a 6.03 ERA while losing four of his first six.
“He’s going to be a good one,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “He’s really just learning the game. He’s very mature for his age and he’s pitching well right now.”
“I threw down about as well as I have all season,” said Baker, who is 3-2 with a 4.15 ERA in his last six starts after posting a 9.15 ERA in losing his first four. “It’s definitely a game of adjustments and as long as you continue to make those adjustments you should be fine.”
The right-hander has fared well against the A’s during his career, going 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA.
A day after center fielder Ryan Sweeney(notes) was placed on the DL with a sprained left knee, the A’s could be without outfielder Aaron Cunningham(notes), who suffered a concussion after being hit in the head by a pitch Monday.