What started out as a promising road trip has turned into a frustrating one for the Minnesota Twins.
The Twins will try to recover from blowing a 10-run lead and avoid a third straight loss Tuesday night when they continue their series against the Oakland Athletics.
Minnesota (47-46) won the first two games of its weekend series at Texas before a difficult 5-3 loss in 12 innings on Sunday night. That only set the stage for an even more draining - and stranger - loss Monday in the opener of this three-game set.
The Twins led 12-2 after the top of the third inning, and 13-7 before Oakland (39-52) scored seven runs in the seventh. The Athletics held on for a 14-13 victory when Minnesota’s Michael Cuddyer(notes) was thrown out trying to score from second on reliever Michael Wuertz’s(notes) wild pitch, ending the game.
Television replays appeared to show Cuddyer’s slide beat the tag.
“Definitely Cuddy was safe, there’s no doubt about it,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We just had a little bit of a bad call there. But we also shot ourselves in the foot enough out there pitching-wise, so it’s hard to say he blew it because we did enough blowing it ourselves.”
It was the largest comeback for the Athletics since they moved to Oakland.
Each team was missing a big-name player from its lineup.
“I don’t know if we should even call it a slump,” Gardenhire told the Twins’ official Web site. “He’s just not getting any hits right now.”
Oakland, meanwhile, placed struggling slugger Jason Giambi(notes) on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a strained right quadriceps muscle, a nagging injury that has been bothering him off and on over the past month.
Without Giambi, the A’s did not strike out in a game for the first time since May 30, 2007, against Texas.
Oakland starter Dallas Braden(notes) (7-8, 3.45 ERA) will face the Twins for the second time this year. He gave up two runs over seven innings and did not receive a decision in a 6-3 loss June 10, and is 1-0 with a 2.89 ERA in three career starts against Minnesota.
Braden missed a chance to win three straight starts for the first time in his career Thursday, when he allowed six runs over five innings of a 6-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Rookie Anthony Swarzak(notes) (2-3, 4.50) will start for Minnesota in place of Kevin Slowey(notes), who is on the disabled list with a strained right wrist. Swarzak filled in for an injured Glen Perkins(notes) on July 8 against the New York Yankees, and yielded four runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 4-3 loss.
The right-hander’s first career road start was in Oakland on June 8, when he gave up three runs over a season-low 3 2-3 innings and did not receive a decision in a 4-3 defeat.