(Sports Network) – The Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins close out their series with the rubber match of the three-game set this afternoon at the Coliseum.
Last season, Minnesota pitcher Carl Pavano was a tremendous surprise and one of the better starters in all of baseball. This season, the veteran has been mediocre, posting a 6-7 record with a 4.60 ERA thus far. Pavano didn’t figure in the decision of Tuesdays game against the Rangers, as he was fortunate to avoid a loss after surrendering eight runs over just five innings. Pavano has faced the As twice already this season and has permitted just two earned runs in 15 innings. He is 3-0 lifetime versus Oakland with a 2.31 ERA.
Oakland figures to hand the ball to Brandon McCarthy today. While the rightys 3-5 record could certainly stand some improvement, he owns a solid 3.52 ERA and is coming off one of his best performances of the year. Against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, he permitted just one earned run on six hits in eight innings of work. McCarthy is 1-0 all-time versus Minnesota with a 2.08 ERA.
On Saturday, Scott Sizemore capped off a four-run fifth inning with a three- run double, as Oakland handled the Twins, 8-3. Ryan Sweeney, Josh Willingham and Jemile Weeks each knocked in a run for the A’s, who bounced back from a 9-5 loss in the opener of this series on Friday. The Athletics, who had 12 hits, have at least eight hits in 15 straight games, tying the Oakland record for consecutive games with eight-plus hits.
“It’s getting contagious and guys are feeling good about it as a group,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said.
Guillermo Moscoso (4-5) gave up two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings to pick up the win. Jim Thome, Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young had an RBI apiece for the Twins, who have lost two of three. Nick Blackburn (7-8) allowed seven runs — six earned — on 10 hits over 4 1/3 frames to suffer the loss. He walked five and struck out two. Blackburn fell to 1-6 lifetime against Oakland.