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Oakland Athletics pitcher Brett Anderson works against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, in Oakland, Calif.

Ben Margot, Associated Press - Ap

A's lefthander comes off DL to hammer the Twins

  • Article by: La VELLE E. NEAL III
  • Star Tribune
  • August 22, 2012 - 7:51 AM

OAKLAND, CALIF. - This recap of how Twins baserunners fared Tuesday will be brief.

Baserunner No. 1: Ben Revere. He singled to start the game. He stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch by A's lefthander Brett Anderson.

Baserunner No. 2: Josh Willingham. He singled with two outs in the first inning -- and was picked off first to end in the inning.

Baserunners Nos. 3 and 4: Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit. They opened the fifth inning with singles to center field. And those baserunners were erased on something called ... a triple play.

That was it for the Twins on the bases Tuesday. Anderson was excellent for seven innings before handing off to the bullpen. Oakland came up with enough offense to win 4-1, and the Twins didn't strand a single runner for the first time since the Yankees' David Wells threw a perfect game at them May 17, 1998 in Yankee Stadium.

Anderson, 24, had a lot to do with shutting down the Twins' offense, holding them to one run over seven innings on four hits, no walks and six strikeouts. It was hard to believe it was his first outing since June 5, 2011. He's missed more than a year because of Tommy John elbow surgery but pitched Tuesday as if he never spent a day on the disabled list.

"Anderson was pretty good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That's one of the better performances we have seen in a while. He had a really sharp breaking ball. His fastball was taking off and he was adding to it. He kept us off-balance pretty much the whole night. Made it tough on us."

His curveball was so good it deserved a nickname. Let's call it "Mr. Snappy."

Twins hitters swung at and missed Mr. Snappy all night. When combined with a good fastball that he could locate, Anderson faced just one batter over the minimum through seven innings.

The game was tied 1-1 in the fifth when Morneau and Doumit singled to center, putting runners on first and second and bringing Trevor Plouffe to the plate.

Anderson spun Mr. Snappy. Plouffe swung and hit a bouncer down the third base line. Josh Donaldson grabbed the ball near the bag and stepped on the base for the first out. What made his part of the play look easy was that the A's were expecting a bunt and positioned themselves accordingly.

Adam Rosales took the throw at second and made a terrific turn -- jumping in the air to avoid the sliding Doumit -- before firing to first to complete the triple play.

"We hit into a triple play," Gardenhire said. "Those are the breaks."

It was the eighth time the Twins hit into a triple play in their history, the first time since Aug. 27, 2007, when Mike Redmond started one at Cleveland. Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel were on base at the time, if you were wondering.

It was the eighth triple play in Oakland history and 21st in A's history.

Oakland broke the tie in the sixth when Derek Norris singled home Seth Smith. The A's added two more in the seventh on a RBI single by Josh Reddick and RBI double by Chris Carter to finish the scoring.

The Twins have lost six of their past seven games and are 1-4 on their current 10-game road trip.

Hendriks gets a chance

The Twins have considered Liam Hendriks to be one of their better pitching prospects. They've spoken highly of his competitiveness, quality of breaking pitches and willingness to mix his pitches.

Hendriks, however, has not translated minor league success to the majors.

In 12 career starts going back to late last season, Hendriks is 0-7 with a 6.71 ERA. He's 0-5 this season with a 7.04 ERA and has given up 10 home runs in 381/3 innings.

He's getting another chance to show that he can cut it in the majors. Hendriks, 23, was called up Tuesday to replace Nick Blackburn in the rotation and will start Wednesday against the Athletics.

In 16 starts at Class AAA Rochester, Hendriks is 9-3 with a 2.20 ERA. He'll get several starts to prove to the organization that he should be included in conversations about the 2013 rotation. "This is an opportunity for him. He's got 5-6 weeks to try to show he can be a guy to be penciled in in our rotation," said Rob Antony, Twins assistant general manager.

Etc.

• Revere stole second base in the first inning on Tuesday, giving him 29 steals this season. With one more stolen base, Revere will become the fourth player in Twins history to post back-to-back seasons with at least 30 stolen bases. Chuck Knoblauch (three in a row), Rod Carew (four) and Cesar Tovar (three) are members of that club. Revere stole 34 bases last season.

• Gardenhire was asked about Roger Clemens signing with the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League team to pitch at age 50. "I don't want to tamper, but we do have a spot open," Gardenhire joked. That team, by the way, is managed by former Twins third baseman Gary Gaetti.

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