Athletics-Twins Preview

The Associated Press

Even a visit to Minnesota to face the lowly Twins wasn't immediately enough for the Oakland Athletics to snap their longest skid of the season.

After blowing a late lead in the series opener, the A's try to avoid a seventh consecutive defeat Tuesday night.

Oakland (22-27) led 2-0 and 3-1, but could not hold a one-run advantage in the eighth inning of Monday's 5-4 loss at Minnesota. The A's have been outscored 30-10 during their longest losing streak since a 10-game skid last season May 30-June 9.

Collin Cowgill had three hits and Josh Reddick hit his 10th homer of May on Monday, but reliever Ryan Cook allowed his first two runs in 22 appearances this season as Minnesota (16-32) rallied in the eighth.

Oakland, last in the majors with a .211 team average, pounded out 10 hits but went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

"Nobody likes to lose, so it's obviously tough," center fielder Coco Crisp told the Athletics' official website.

Crisp, who went hitless in five at-bats, is 2 for 29 in seven games since coming off the disabled list following an inner ear infection.

"I'm at the point where I'm ready to boo myself," Crisp said. "Things have to change, and I'm just going to continue to work at it.

"Hope, pray, do some voodoo, magic, whatever it takes to get it right. Hopefully it will happen soon."

The A's look to turn things around against Minnesota native Cole De Vries (0-1, 5.40 ERA), who hopes for a better effort in his second major league start and first at Target Field. The right-hander allowed six runs and three homers in five-plus innings in an 11-8 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

"I try to be a positive person and I don't really know how I can't look at it positively," De Vries told the Twins' official website. "I went out there and competed the best I could, given it was my first time and high emotions.

"As I get more comfortable out there, I know my pitches will start coming down."

Joe Mauer had two hits and Justin Morneau drove in two runs Monday as the Twins snapped a five-game skid. Despite two walks, Matt Capps nailed down his 10th save one day after he blew his first of the year in Sunday's 4-3 loss to Detroit.

Mauer has batted .452 (14 for 31) in his last eight games overall, and .415 in his last 12 versus Oakland.

The A's Jarrod Parker (1-2, 3.38) will make his first start against the Twins on Tuesday. The right-hander gave up six runs and four walks in two-plus innings of an 8-6 defeat at San Francisco on May 18, but regrouped to allow one run and one walk while striking out a season-high eight in seven innings of Oakland's 3-1, 11-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.

"I thought that was his best start of the year," manager Bob Melvin said. "His velocity climbed back up, he had good touch with all of his pitches. That's the guy we envisioned him being as far as stuff goes, and he had a confident look on his face."