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Game 8: Athletics (2-5) @ Twins (3-4)

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First Pitch: 6:10 pm CDT
TV: FSN
Radio: Twins Radio Network
Know Thine Enemy: Athletics Nation, the SB Nation Original Flavor

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Nick Blackburn 1-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 5.2 6 2 1 1 1 2 1.59 1.24

By far the Twins' best starter in Toronto, we turn to Blackburn tonight with an eye towards securing Minnesota's first series victory of the season. The keys for Nick are the same keys we'll be reading for the next 30 starts after this one: he'll need good command, he'll need to change speeds, and over the last year opposing batters have lit up his breaking balls so he'll need to be judicious in their use. In and out, fastball and changeup. That's the makeup for a lot of what Nick does.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Gio Gonzalez 1-0 1 1 0 0 0 0 7.0 6 1 1 1 4 4 1.29 1.43

Yet another southpaw for the Twins to get through, Gonzalez squared up against Seattle in his first start of the season and shined. In spite of allowing ten base runners in seven innings, he was able to keep the ball on the ground and with the exception of the solo home run worked out of all jams.Gonzalez is a fastball-curveball guy, which you don't see a lot of. He offers a changeup too, although if he throws one against a left-handed hitter tonight I'd be surprised. His fastball is used often early, but once the count works in his favor it's even odds on the curve. He also likes to bait with a fastball high out of the zone.

Lineups

A's

Crisp, CF
Barton, 1B
DeJesus, RF
Willingham, LF
Matsui, DH
Suzuki, C
Ellis, 2B
Kouzmanoff, 3B
Pennington, SS

Twins

Span, CF
Mauer, C
Morneau, 1B
Young, LF
Cuddyer, RF
Kubel, DH
Valencia, 3B
Hughes, 2B
Casilla, SS