Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Brandon McCarthy pitched into the eighth inning and the Oakland Athletics got home runs from Hideki Matsui and Josh Willingham to beat the Minnesota Twins, 5-3, at Target Field.
McCarthy (1-0) was charged with two runs on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings for the A's, who shut out the Twins on Saturday after losing a 2-1 decision in the opener of the three-game set.
"I was able to hit my spots and move the ball around," McCarthy said. "We got a series win and got some positive momentum going ... Any time you can take two of three in a series you have to be happy."
Scott Baker (0-2) was charged with four runs on seven hits in five-plus innings for the Twins, who have dropped six of nine to start the season.
Jim Thome hit a mammoth two-run homer in the eighth inning to pull Minnesota within 5-3, but Brian Fuenteshurled a 1-2-3 ninth to end the comeback bid and notch his third save of the season.
"You have to credit their pitching staff. They did a fine job the last three days," Twins slugger Jim Thome said. "Sometimes when you're facing good pitching you have to credit the other side. We just have to keep battling."
Thome's blast -- a moonshot that landed over the backdrop beyond the center field wall -- came off Jerry Blevins, who relieved McCarthy with two on and one out and also allowed a run-scoring groundout to Justin Morneau.
Matsui and Willingham belted leadoff homers in the fourth and sixth innings, respectively, and the A's added three more runs in the latter frame.
Baker was pulled after yielding a single to Matsui and a ground-rule double to Ryan Sweeney. Jeff Manship entered and walked Mark Ellis to load the bases, and Kevin Kouzmanoff made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Landon Powell doubled off the base of the wall in right-center to bring in Sweeney, and Pennington greetedGlen Perkins with a sac fly to cap the four- run inning.
Before the game, the Twins honored Minnesota Duluth for winning the school's first men's Division I hockey title on Saturday...McCarthy, who lasted eight innings and got a no-decision against the Blue Jays last Tuesday in his first start since 2009, struck out five and did not walk a batter...Baker came in 4-0 with a 3.62 ERA in five starts against the A's...Matsui, Powell and David DeJesus each had two hits for Oakland...Morneau went 3-for-4...Thome's homer was the 590th of his career.