Pratt's Instant Replay: Twins 7, Athletics 2

August 21, 2012, 5:16 am
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OAKLAND -- The A's had won four games in a row. The Twins had lost five straight. Brandon McCarthy was 2-0 in four career starts against Minnesota. On paper, this game looked like an easy win. That's why they play the games.The Twins rocked starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy for six runs snapping all of the aforementioned streaks with a 7-2 victory over Oakland.While the final tally may be disappointing for A's fans, there was some news to pique their interests. The A's acquired shortstop Stephen Drew from the Diamondbacks for a Minor Leaguer during the game.Starting Pitching ReportThere has to be some concern about the health of starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who has been on the disabled list twice this season. The A's opening day starting pitcher is one of the most consistent pitchers in the American League when healthy. On Monday he allowed six runs -- all earned -- on 10 hits. He walked in a run and hit a batter. It very well could just be an off-night for the tall righty, but he didn't look like himself on the mound. McCarthy was out of control in the first inning. He walked in a run and hit a batter while throwing 32 pitches. The Twins collected three consecutive hits to start the inning. The third hit was an RBI double by Josh Willingham.Willingham added an RBI single in the second inning off McCarthy. The former A's hitter has five homers and 14 RBIs vs. his former team this season. The A's might need to consider a new approach with him. That, or just stop pitching to him all together.McCarthy settled down with a clean frame in the third inning. He gave up back-to-back hits to start the fourth inning. Darin Mastroianni bunted the runners into scoring position. Joe Mauer drove them both in with a two-run single to right field giving the Twins a 6-2 lead. That would be it for McCarthy. He only lasted three and one-third innings.Bullpen ReportTravis Blackley bailed out the A's bullpen. He allowed just one run over five and two-thirds innings. He gave up five hits and one walk.Coco Crisp made a spectacular leaping catch at the wall in center field to rob Ryan Doumit of an extra-base hit in the ninth. After making the catch Crisp threw the ball in to cutoff man Adam Rosales who chucked the ball to first base to double off Justin Morneau. Blackley stood on the mound saluting Crisp, and clapped.At the PlateYoenis Cespedes sparked the A's offense. He beat out a throw from third base for an infield single, stole his 12th base uncontested, then scored easily on a Josh Donaldson double into the right-field gap. Cespedes' infield single was his 100th MLB hit.In the fourth inning Crisp reached base on an error, stole his 27th base, and advanced to third when the ball got away from shortstop Pedro Florimon. Crisp ended up scoring on an RBI groundout by Josh Reddick. Through four innings pretty much the only thing that was working for the A's was their base running.AttendanceThe A's announced an attendance of 10,274.Dot RaceBlue wins the dot race in a photo finish with Red.Up NextThe highly anticipated return of Brett Anderson takes place on Tuesday. He underwent season-ending "Tommy John" surgery in 2011. Anderson is confident that he is ready to return.The Twins will be sending Cole De Vries (2-4, 5.04 ERA) to the mound. De Vries is 0-2 with a 9.49 in his last three starts. He gave up seven runs on July 14 against Oakland.

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