The Oakland Athletics continue their first road trip of the season as they head into the Twin Cities to face the Minnesota Twins. The A's are 2-4 as they've only won series finales in their first two series against the Mariners and Blue Jays. During the losses the A's have struggled through a variety of mind-numbing defensive miscues. The first series also saw bullpen issues creep up, but the last two games have seen the A's bullpen rounding a bit more into form.
The A's will send out Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez and Brandon McCarthy at Minnesota's Target Field. Although the Twins have moved outdoors from the Metrodome, the Twin Cities are expecting decent weather for much of the weekend. It might rain on Sunday so we'll see how that impacts the 11:10am pacific start.
The Twins open as an early favorite for today's matchup, but I'd imagine it's more to do with being at home than the pitching matchups in place. The Twins have some solid pitching, but Carl Pavano, Nick Blackburn and Scott Baker would seem to be at disadvantages in their matchups. Well, at least Pavano and Blackburn versus Anderson and Gonzalez. The Baker-McCarthy matchup is a toss-up given the lack of a recent track record for McCarthy. He's coming off a rather strong start that would have looked much better without the sixth inning fielding miscues.
Thus far in the A's two wins, the key has really been strong starting pitching, which shouldn't surprise anybody. Gio Gonzalez went seven innings and Trevor Cahill went eight innings in their respective wins. The key is getting a bit more timely hitting. The bullpen has done fairly well the last two games, although it's only two total innings of work between Brad Ziegler and Brian Fuentes in those games so we can't exactly extrapolate out too much.
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3 game series vs Twins @ Target Field
|Sat 04/09 - GIo Gonzalez vs. Nick Blackburn
||4:10 PM PDT|
|Sun 04/10 - Brandon McCarthy vs. Scott Baker
||11:10 AM PDT|