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Series Preview: Oakland Athletics

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Going In, In Brief

The Twins (9-10), winners of two in a row, sport the 26th best slugging percentage in all of baseball (.356) and 28th best on-base percentage (.302). Runs have been hard to come by, scoring a total of eight runs in their last four games.

Oakland (12-8) is off to a pretty good start, considering that like the Twins their eyes are on the future. While they equal Minnesota in team batting average (.257), they've taken nearly twice as many walks. Their pitching staff is also striking out more hitters, and allowing fewer hits.

Probable Pitchers

Livan Hernandez VS Joe Blanton
Francisco Liriano VS Chad Gaudein
Nick Blackburn VS Greg Smith

Opposition Focus

Jack Cust: Cust is batting a miserable .157, but has taken an amazing 16 walks to reach base to the tune of a .367 OBP. He's already making A's fans restless though, with his inability to hit and his 22 strikeouts.

Bobby Crosby: Off to a hot start this year, hitting .313/.368/.475 with two home runs and seven doubles.

Kurt Suzuki: Oakland's 24-year old catcher isn't hitting for any power, but his balls have eyes. 21 hits and five walks in 18 games has allowed him to pick up right where he left off in the minor leagues, where he posted a .283/.380/.419 line while rocketing through the system.

Mike Sweeney: An old nemesis, Sweeney is primed to hit his first home run of the season against the Twins. So far this season he's hitting .275/.356/.333 in 51 at-bats.

Huston Street: Oakland's closer has notched five saves, but his numbers are still having trouble shaking his first three appearances of the year, where he allowed five earned runs and three homers in 3.2 innings. He's been much more effective since.

Andrew Brown: A 27-year old right handed reliever, Brown has yet to allow an earned run. In nine appearances (12 innings), he's allowed five hits and struck out eight while walking four.

Santiago Casilla: Another 27-year old right handed reliever, Casilla has allowed only six hits and a walk through 9.2 innings, allowing no runs and notching 11 strikeouts.

Stats


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Jeff Fiorentino 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000
Rob Bowen 2 9 2 3 0 0 0 2 0 5 0 0 .333 .333 .333
Kurt Suzuki 18 64 9 21 3 0 0 4 5 8 1 1 .328 .394 .375
Ryan Sweeney 16 44 5 14 2 1 0 6 2 9 0 0 .318 .348 .409
Bobby Crosby 20 80 13 25 7 0 2 15 7 9 0 0 .313 .368 .475
Emil Brown 18 65 9 19 3 1 1 14 2 7 1 0 .292 .309 .415
Mike Sweeney 15 51 7 14 3 0 0 3 6 1 0 0 .275 .356 .333
Chris Denorfia 15 33 4 9 1 0 0 4 3 9 0 0 .273 .333 .303
Daric Barton 20 75 12 20 5 2 0 6 15 21 0 0 .267 .385 .387
Mark Ellis 20 82 9 20 4 2 2 11 10 7 3 1 .244 .323 .415
Jack Hannahan 17 51 6 10 2 0 1 7 12 18 0 0 .196 .344 .294
Jack Cust 17 51 9 8 2 0 1 6 16 22 0 0 .157 .368 .255
Travis Buck 15 65 5 10 6 1 0 6 2 20 0 0 .154 .197 .277
Donnie Murphy 6 13 1 2 0 0 0 2 2 5 0 0 .154 .267 .154

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Andrew Brown 0-0 9 0 0 0 0 0 12.0 5 1 0 0 4 8 0.00 .75
Santiago Casilla 0-0 11 0 0 0 0 0 9.2 6 0 0 0 1 11 0.00 .72
Joey Devine 2-0 5 0 0 0 0 0 7.1 4 0 0 0 3 5 0.00 .95
Rich Harden 1-0 2 2 0 0 0 0 11.0 7 1 1 1 7 15 0.82 1.27
Justin Duchscherer 1-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.0 4 1 1 0 2 6 1.80 1.20
Dana Eveland 2-1 4 4 0 0 0 0 23.2 17 6 5 1 11 18 1.90 1.18
Kirk Saarloos 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 7.2 4 3 2 0 2 1 2.35 .78
Keith Foulke 0-0 7 0 0 0 1 0 7.0 5 2 2 1 1 6 2.57 .86
Greg Smith 1-0 3 3 0 0 0 0 18.0 14 8 6 2 7 13 3.00 1.17
Joe Blanton 1-3 5 5 0 0 0 0 34.0 41 16 16 1 7 11 4.24 1.41
Alan Embree 1-1 10 0 0 0 0 2 9.2 9 5 5 2 2 10 4.66 1.14
Chad Gaudin 1-1 3 3 0 0 0 0 17.0 16 11 9 2 6 15 4.76 1.29
Huston Street 0-1 8 0 0 0 5 1 9.1 9 6 6 3 3 8 5.79 1.29
Lenny DiNardo 1-1 4 2 0 0 0 0 7.2 15 9 9 0 5 5 10.57 2.61