THREE-GAME SERIES AT TARGET FIELD
Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM
RHP Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.28 ERA) vs. RHP Jarrod Parker (11-6, 3.57)
Wednesday, 7:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM
RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-11, 4.97) vs. RHP Sonny Gray (2-3, 2.51)
Thursday, 12:10 p.m. • FSN, 96.3-FM
LHP Scott Diamond (5-10, 5.52) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (13-9, 3.91)
The Twins and Athletics have not faced each other all season but will play seven times over the next two weeks. … This series kicks off a week of games against playoff contenders, as the Athletics will be followed by Tampa Bay for three games. … The Twins were 4-5 against Oakland last season. … Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has held Josh Willingham out of the lineup for a couple of days as he has struggled at the plate. But Gardenhire wants to start Willingham in left field this week in hopes of getting his bat going. … Diamond will be making his first major league start since Aug. 1, when he was sent to Class AAA Rochester. He went 4-0 with a 2.41 ERA in six starts with the Red Wings. … The Twins bullpen has thrown the most innings in the majors and has the seventh-best ERA in the majors.
Oakland has been known for its surges, and this season is no different. They trailed Texas by 7½ games May 16 but went 43-21 to take a six-game lead in the AL West. They fell into second place in August but returned to first place Sept. 1 and are holding off the Rangers. … The ex-Twins effect is in full force with the A’s in relievers Grant Balfour and Pat Neshek and coaches Chili Davis and Chip Hale. … The A’s entered Monday tied for the AL lead in one-run wins with 27. … Outfielder Seth Smith is batting .462 against Pelfrey.
La VELLE E. NEAL III