Resurgent A's open set with beleaguered Twins

May 18, 2011, 2:10 pm
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May 18, 2011

MINNESOTA (13-27) vs.
A's (22-20)

Coverage begins at 6:30 P.M. on Comcast SportsNet California

(AP) -- The Minnesota Twins managed to end their longest skid in nearly 13 years despite carrying some heavy hearts. Whether they build on that inspired victory will likely depend on how well Carl Pavano limits the Oakland Athletics' red-hot lineup.

The right-hander has usually found a way to beat the A's in recent seasons and will try to earn his 100th career victory Wednesday night in Oakland.

The Twins had dropped nine in a row for the first time since 1998 as they headed into Tuesday's game in Seattle and their first following the death of Harmon Killebrew.
RELATED: Killebrew funeral set for Friday in Arizona

Not long after honoring the Hall of Fame slugger with a moment of silence, Minnesota (13-27) got the runs it needed to snap its skid on Michael Cuddyer's single. The Twins got just two more hits the rest of the game but came away with a 2-1 victory.

"After a day like this, it was nice to go out there and use the three hours to try to get your mind off this tragedy, even though you can't," Cuddyer said. "It's impossible to. We wanted to go out and get the win. There was no better time to get it."

While the Twins are batting .201 over their last 10 games, the A's (22-20) are hitting .315 in their last four, including a 14-0 rout of the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

REWIND: A's destroy Angels 14-0

That win, which featured a season-high 15 hits, gave Oakland a share of the AL West lead. The A's might need to solve Pavano (2-4, 5.89 ERA) to stay in first.

GUTIERREZ: History vs. the Angels

The Twins right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in his last three starts against Oakland, and allowed one run over eight innings in a 2-1 victory April 8.

Pavano, though, hasn't shown that same form in most of his recent outings, going 1-3 with a 7.57 ERA in his last five. He threw 5 1-3 scoreless innings Friday against Toronto, but also allowed seven hits and three walks on 115 pitches.

"I'm trying to do my best to get quick outs and make quality pitches, but I don't think I executed that many good pitches, and I think it affected the team," Pavano told the team's website. "I was no better than my last two starts to be honest with you. I didn't have much out there."

Brandon McCarthy (1-4, 3.34) is also trying to regain the form he showed in Minnesota on April 10. The right-hander allowed two runs and scattered nine hits over 7 1-3 innings during a 5-3 victory but is 0-4 with a 3.89 ERA in his last five outings.

He gave up five hits over seven frames to the Chicago White Sox on Friday but three of those led to a four-run second inning and a 4-3 defeat.

"I felt like I did a lot of things I wanted to do, but that one inning was too much to save the whole outing. It just can't happen," McCarthy told the team's website.

Innings like that haven't happened in his two career starts against the Twins as he's 1-0 with a 1.76 ERA.

He might get help in this start from Coco Crisp, who is 8 for 16 in the last four games and has a seven-game hit streak against Minnesota. He's 4 for 11 (.364) in his career against Pavano.