The letdown that more than a few people predicted after the throttling administered in Chicago came to pass on Friday night. Brett Anderson, one of the young, promising, left-handed starters that Oakland must get off a prospect assembly line in a Fresno industrial park, handled the Twins on Friday night, carrying the Athletics to a 3-1 victory.
Anderson went 6 and 2/3 innings, giving up a solo home run to Danny Valencia and not much else to a Twins lineup that was missing Joe Mauer, Jason Kubel and Denard Span. He struck out five, kept the hitters guessing, and makes you think he has a real future when the A's trade him to the Phillies for prospects in 2014.
Nick Blackburn continued his run of quality starts for the Twins, going seven innings and giving up just three runs. The bane of his existence was the svelte and slender Jack Cust, who plated the first run after his 2nd-inning double and scored another on a solo home run in the 6th.
The Twins' best chance to score came in the 7th. With two outs, the Twins were able to get two runners on and chase Anderson from the game. Michael Wuertz came in and allowed an infield single to Jason Repko. With the bases now loaded, the A's turned to former Twin Craig Breslow to face pinch-hitter Joe Mauer. With the Target Field crowd roaring, Breslow got the MVP to pop up to left, ending the threat. Andrew Bailey would close the game for his 25th save of the season.
Ben Revere: None of the first three balls he hit made it past the pitcher. It was his first start at home, let's not hold it against him.
Orlando Hudson: had a one-out double in the first, then got thrown out at third trying to advance on a grounder to short. I don't get it.
The Chicago White Sox: lost 9-2 to Detroit, lowering the Twins' magic number to 7. Tampa lost and the Yankees won, meaning the Twins are a game back of New York and a half-game back of the Rays for AL home field.
Game's at noon tomorrow, so get some rest, for Pete's sake. Enjoy your weekend, everybody.