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Oakland at Minnesota

Scoreboard
Oakland (64-77) «020020000460
Minnesota (70-72)001100000260

Athletics 4, Twins 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- For the last few years, the Minnesota Twins have been known for promising young pitching and playing small ball.

On Saturday, those things did the Twins in and further dimmed their chances for catching Detroit in the AL Central.

Brett Anderson threw seven sharp innings and Cliff Pennington had three hits with an RBI as the Oakland Athletics won for the fifth time in six games, beating the Twins 4-2.

Less than 24 hours after routing Minnesota with a season-high five home runs, the A's showed the Twins their own style of small ball by making the most of a relatively quiet day at the plate. They drew walks, stole bases, advanced runners and scored on sac-flies.

Anderson (9-10) retired 18 of 24 batters, including the final eight he faced, and didn't allow a walk for the fourth time this season to win his second-consecutive start.

"He was fantastic," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "He's had a few really good outing this year. This is in the top two or three, that's for sure."

Michael Wuertz pitched a scoreless eighth for Oakland and Andrew Bailey pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances.

Oakland held Minnesota's two best hitters - AL batting leader Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau - to just one hit in seven at-bats.

"Any time you hold those guys to one hit, it limits their offense," Anderson said. "So I feel pretty good about that."

Twins rookie Jeff Manship (0-1) lasted four innings in his third-career start, charged with four runs off three hits and three walks.

Pennington was the only one to drive in a run with a hit when his double in the second inning scored Daric Barton to give Oakland a 2-0 lead.

Despite the relatively quiet day at the plate, the A's made the most of their chances; three of their six walks eventually scored and their five stolen bases tied a season high.

"When we get on, we're going to make things happen. We're not going to stand around," Pennington said.

For the second-straight game, a young Oakland pitcher rendered Minnesota's lineup harmless.

The Twins evened the game at 2-2 with runs in the third and fourth, but Oakland regained the lead for good by scoring two runs in the fifth without a hit. Reliever Jesse Crain walked Adam Kennedy to load the bases after Manship walked Eric Patterson and Pennington. Rajai Davis and Kurt Suzuki each followed with a sacrifice fly to give the A's a two-run lead.

"After we tie the game and we walk three to load the bases, that's pretty much going to shoot you," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "You can't give free passes in this league and expect to get away with it and there's the ball game."

Minnesota entered the game 5 ½ games behind the slumping Tigers in the standings after blowing several chances over the past week to make up ground.

"We're just not playing very good," Morneau said. "It's hard to describe it. We're just not scoring runs like we were. The frustrating part is that we know we have the guys to do it."

Notes:

  • Athletics manager Bob Geren said RHP Vin Mazzaro felt "even better" after throwing Saturday, a day after throwing from 140 feet. Geren said Mazzaro may throw a bullpen session on Monday and that the goal is to have Mazzaro return to the mound before the end of the season.
  • Davis stole second in the first inning to become the first Oakland player to steal a base in four consecutive games since Stan Javier in 1995. He has a career-high 36 stolen bases this season.
  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expects RHP Kevin Slowey, who had season-ending wrist surgery in August, to be ready for spring training.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Oakland

B. Anderson
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 0
K 4
Oakland

C. Pennington
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Oakland Athletics
Adam Kennedy, 3B3010214 .283
Rajai Davis, CF3001022 .304
Kurt Suzuki, C4001012 .270
Jack Cust, DH4000032 .238
Scott Hairston, LF4000000 .268
Mark Ellis, 2B3110120 .283
Daric Barton, 1B3110100 .219
Eric Patterson, RF2101112 .204
Cliff Pennington, SS3131100 .286
Totals29464610  
Batting
2B - Daric Barton (6, Manship), Cliff Pennington (7, Manship)
SF - Rajai Davis (3), Kurt Suzuki (6), Eric Patterson (2)
RBI - Rajai Davis (36), Kurt Suzuki (73), Eric Patterson (5), Cliff Pennington (13)
2-OUT RBI - Cliff Pennington (5)
SB - Adam Kennedy (19, 2nd base off Crain/Redmond), Rajai Davis (36, 2nd base off Manship/Redmond), Mark Ellis (9, 2nd base off Crain/Redmond), Eric Patterson (2, 2nd base off Manship/Redmond), Cliff Pennington (6, 2nd base off Guerrier/Morales)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Pennington-Barton, Barton-Pennington
Oakland Athletics
Brett Anderson (W,9-10) 7522040 4.37
Michael Wuertz (H,21) 1100010 2.96
Andrew Bailey (S,24) 1000120 2.03
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Anderson 108-71, Michael Wuertz 18-12, Andrew Bailey 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Anderson 9-6, Michael Wuertz 1-1
Batters Faced - Brett Anderson 24, Michael Wuertz 4, Andrew Bailey 4
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, CF3011001 .308
Orlando Cabrera, SS4000022 .272
Joe Mauer, DH4110011 .363
Justin Morneau, 1B3000101 .274
Jason Kubel, LF3001011 .303
Michael Cuddyer, RF3000020 .267
Brendan Harris, 3B3120000 .266
Mike Redmond, C2000002 .238
   a- Jose Morales, PH-C1010000 .350
Nick Punto, 2B2010000 .224
   b- Brian Buscher, PH1000011 .237
    Alexi Casilla, 2B0000000 .196
Totals2926217  
a-singled for Redmond in the 8th
b-struck out for Punto in the 8th
Batting
2B - Joe Mauer (25, Anderson), Brendan Harris (19, Anderson)
SF - Denard Span (5), Jason Kubel (3)
RBI - Denard Span (57), Jason Kubel (82)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Cabrera-Punto
Minnesota Twins
Jeff Manship (L,0-1) 4344330 5.31
Jesse Crain 1.1100210 5.36
Jose Mijares 1.2100040 2.10
Jon Rauch 1000010 4.13
Matt Guerrier 1100110 2.27
HBP - Davis (by Jeff Manship)
Pitches-Strikes - Jeff Manship 79-44, Jesse Crain 28-14, Jose Mijares 32-24, Jon Rauch 10-6, Matt Guerrier 23-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeff Manship 5-3, Jose Mijares 1-0, Jon Rauch 1-1, Matt Guerrier 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeff Manship 18, Jesse Crain 7, Jose Mijares 6, Jon Rauch 3, Matt Guerrier 5
Game Information
Attendance - 24283
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Jeff Nelson, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Bob Davidson