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Athletics vs. Twins, Series Recap: No Errors And Starting Pitching Remains Filthy

The Oakland Athletics picked up their first series victory of the season this weekend as they took two of three from the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis. The A’s rode a familiar formula to victory as they received dominant starting pitching and just enough offense to get the job done. More importantly they went an entire series without committing an error. Much of their pitching is dependent on strong fielding, so a return to solid form is critical if the A’s want to make noise in the AL West.

A’s Pitcher of the Series: Brandon McCarthy – All three A’s starting pitchers were impressive this weekend, but McCarthy gets the nod because he earned his first major league victory since 2009. McCarthy was out of the majors last year due to shoulder problems and fought his way to earn the fifth starter role for the A’s. He was moved past Dallas Braden into the fourth spot last week and is now solidifying his role in the rotation. On Sunday against the Twins he gave up nine hits over seven innings while striking out five and allowing no runs. Although the Twins got a base runner on in every inning against McCarthy but the second, he battled through the jams and earned the victory. If the A’s continue to get this kind of pitching from McCarthy, their rotation becomes all the more dangerous.

A’s Hitter of the Series: Hideki Matsui – This is a tough one to give out given the A’s immense offensive struggles the first two games of the series. However, Matsui hit his first homerun with the A’s, which is as much a reason for this as anything, even though he was hitless the first two games. The A’s retooled their offense by adding Matsui, Josh Willingham, and David DeJesus but have not seen immediate dividends. They finally appeared to break through today, but we’ll see if they can carry this over to their upcoming series in Chicago.

Notable Number: 0 – As in the number of errors committed by the A’s this series. Heading into Minnesota the A’s were struggling with defensive problems, but now they’ve gone five straight games without an error. Mistakes will happen over the course of the season but the A’s cannot have the quantity of miscues we saw through the first week.

Upcoming Schedule: The A’s wrap up a busy first two weeks of the season with a three game set at the Chicago White Sox. The A’s wrap up a nine-game road trip starting Monday evening at 5:10pm pacific. They play a night game Tuesday at 5:10pm and then wrap things up on Wednesday with a lunch time finale at 11:10am before getting a much-needed day off.

Series Results
Friday: Twins 2 – A’s 1
WP: Carl Pavano (1-1)
LP: Brett Anderson (0-1)
Sv: Joe Nathan (3)

Saturday: A’s 1 – Twins 0
WP: Gio Gonzalez (2-0)
LP: Nick Blackburn (1-1)
Sv: Brian Fuentes (2)

Sunday: A’s 5 – Twins 3
WP: Brandon McCarthy (1-0)
LP: Scott Baker (0-2)
Sv: Brian Fuentes (3)