THREE-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELD
Friday, 3:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500ESPN
RHP Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.75 ERA) vs. LHP Brett Anderson (0-0, 1.50)
Saturday, 6:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500ESPN
RHP Nick Blackburn (1-0, 1.59) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 1.29)
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. • FSN, 1500ESPN
RHP Scott Baker (0-1, 6.00) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 4.50)
Pavano got the victory in last year's home opener, when he held the Red Sox to one run on four hits over six innings in a 5-2 victory. He struggled last Friday in Toronto in the season opener, allowing eight runs (seven earned) over four innings. He was scheduled to pitch Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, but that game was rained out, so he'll be working with two days of extra rest. Blackburn was in line to pitch the home opener before the rainout. He and Baker both had their starts moved back one day. The Twins went 6-3 against Oakland last year, including 4-2 at Target Field.
Oakland's pitching staff and an improved lineup had some prognosticators picking the Athletics to win the AL West. Anderson and Gonzalez are two of the top up-and-coming lefthanders in the league, and McCarthy, the former White Sox righthander, had a terrific spring training, with 20 strikeouts and one walk. The A's went 1-2 in each of their first two series, against Seattle and at Toronto. They have four players on the disabled list: closer Andrew Bailey (strained forearm), starting pitcher Rich Harden (strained shoulder), infielder Adam Rosales (broken foot), and reliever Michael Wuertz (strained hamstring). Former Twin Brian Fuentes has been closing games in Bailey's absence.