The Oakland Athletics and Minnesota Twins enter this weekend's three-game series with identical 2-4 records. Both teams are currently tied for last in their respective divisions (the A's are tied with Seattle and Minnesota is tied with Detroit).
The Athletics salvaged one game of their three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon with a 2-1 victory behind a solid pitching performance by Trevor Cahill.
Cahill was outstanding in his eight innings of work, allowing only one run on three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts.
Cahill handed over his masterpiece to stand-in-closer, Brian Fuentes, who earned his first save as an Oakland Athletic.
The A's scored their first of two runs on a wild-pitch strikeout by Coco Crisp that allowed Andy LaRoche to come home with the A's first run and Coco Crisp to reach first base. Crisp then proceeded to steal second and third base, and came home to score on a line drive single by Conor Jackson.
The A's played their second errorless game of the season, an accomplishment for a team that has seen defense cost them a pair of victories already this season.
Fuentes proved his last outing was nothing for A's fans to concern themselves with as he allowed only one hit in his inning of work. Fuentes needed just 10 pitches to shut down the Blue Jays on Thursday.
The Minnesota Twins lost two out of their past three games to the New York Yankees.
In Thursday's game the Twins' rookie second baseman, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, fractured his leg on a slide by former Athletic Nick Swisher. The Twins will recall Luke Hughes to take Nishioka's spot on the roster.
The series opener is also the home opener for the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Target Field is considered a pitcher's park, yielding only 118 home runs last season. The A's have not hit many home runs this season, so don't expect that to change over the weekend.
Thankfully, the park also plays to the A's pitching strength. Expect three close, low-scoring games.
Probable Pitchers (All games on CSNCA and 95.7FM):
Friday, April 8, 1:10 p.m.:
Brett Anderson (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.70 ERA)
Saturday, April 9, 4:10 p.m.:
Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Nick Blackburn (1-0, 1.59 ERA)
Sunday, April 10, 11:10 a.m.:
Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Scott Baker (0-1, 6.00 ERA)
Athletics: Rich Harden (15-day disabled list), Andrew Bailey (15-day disabled list), Michael Wuertz (15-day disabled list), Adam Rosales (60-day disabled list)
Twins: Tsuyoshi Nishioka (broken leg, will be placed on 60-day DL), Kevin Slowey (Day-to-Day)
Brandon McClintock covers the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball for BleacherReport.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @BMcClintock_BR.
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