Minnesota (29-31) at Oakland (26-31)

Cloudy Currently: Oakland, CA
Temp: 69° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Wed Jun 10, 2009
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Minnesota Twins have struggled to score runs of late, but their latest effort could be what they need to get back on track.

On Wednesday night, the visiting Twins look for a second straight victory over the Oakland Athletics in the continuation of this four-game series.

After scoring eight runs in its previous four games, Minnesota (29-31) snapped a three-game slide with a 10-5 victory Tuesday while ending Oakland’s season-high seven-game winning streak.

“A great night for our offense, beating the ball around,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Justin Morneau(notes) had four hits, including his 16th homer, with four RBIs, and Jason Kubel(notes) added a three-run shot for the Twins, who improved to 8-0 this season when scoring at least 10 runs.

While Minnesota has struggled with some offensive inconsistency this season, only once in the previous seven times it posted double-digit runs did it fail to win the next contest.

Brendan Harris(notes) added three hits and Delmon Young(notes) three RBIs for the Twins, who are 2-3 on a 10-game road trip, and 8-19 away from the Metrodome. Harris, who had his career-high 12-game hitting streak snapped in Monday’s 4-3 loss to the A’s, is batting .358 (19 for 58) in his last 14 games.

Minnesota will be without leadoff hitter Denard Span(notes), who was sent home to see a specialist after leaving Tuesday’s game with dizziness.

“We’re just going to have to play short here,” Gardenhire said of missing Span, who is batting .307 over his last 20 games and leads the club with 12 stolen bases. “We’re going to get him checked out to find out exactly what’s going on.”

The Twins roughed up rookie Brett Anderson(notes) on Tuesday, snapping a seven-game winning streak by A’s starters, who had allowed eight earned runs in 46 1-3 innings during the run.

Dallas Braden(notes) (5-5, 3.41 ERA), who in his third major-league season is the veteran of the A’s talented rotation, looks to help Oakland (26-31) bounce back.

The 25-year-old Braden is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his last four starts since dropping three straight decisions. He allowed one run and five hits while striking out a season-high seven without a walk in seven innings of a 9-1 victory over Baltimore on Friday.

“These guys are absolutely throwing the snot out of the ball and you just want to go out there and do your job,” Braden said of his role on the staff.

The left-hander is 0-1 with a 3.09 ERA in two starts against the Twins, who counter with Francisco Liriano(notes) (2-7, 6.12).

Looking to avoid a fourth straight losing decision and possibly being pulled from the rotation, Liriano allowed one run and three hits while striking out five and walking four in six innings of a 2-1, 10-inning road win over Seattle on Friday.

“He needed that,” Gardenhire said of Liriano, who went 0-3 with a 12.00 ERA in his previous three starts.

The left-hander is 1-2 with a 6.38 ERA in five starts versus the A’s, but 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in his last two.

Adam Kennedy(notes) drove in two runs and had two of the five hits for Oakland, which scored all its runs in the ninth inning Tuesday. The veteran infielder is batting .336 with 19 RBIs in 30 games since being acquired in a trade from Tampa Bay on May 8.

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Starting Pitchers

F. Liriano Pit vs. D. Braden Oak
5-13 Record 8-9
5.80 ERA 3.89
122 K 81
65 BB 42
1.55 WHIP 1.36


Wednesday, Jun 10