Twins Vs. Athletics: Minnesota Kicks Off Season's Second Half Following All-Star Break

DETROIT - JULY 09: Pitching coach Rick Anderson #40 of the Minnesota Twins talks with Francisco Liriano #47 during the third inning of the game against the Detroit Tigers on July 9 2010 at Comerica Park in Detroit Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

The Oakland Athletics will head to Target Field to face the Minnesota Twins in both teams' first series following the All-Star Break.

Following the All-Star Break, both the Minnesota Twins (36-49) and Oakland Athletics (43-43) are looking for better second halves of the season than firsts. Minnesota in particular has spent the season with a winning streak or two, but not enough to get themselves out of the basement of the mostly wide-open AL Central.

Fortunately, they'll be getting their closer Matt Capps back on the squad from injury to help them out as they take on the A's in their first game back from the All-Star Break. Oakland is currently sitting at .500 after a solid run to finish the first half of the season but are in need of a lot more if they hope to stay afloat in a division that contains the LA Angels and the best team in baseball, the Texas Rangers.

Game one of the series will feature a pitching match up of Francisco Liriano (3-7, 5.08 ERA) taking on young A.J. Griffin (0-0, 1.50 ERA) from the A's. Griffin will be making only his fourth ever career start, and his first ever against Minnesota.

Minnesota has had the early success in this season against the A's, with the last series between the two teams ending in a Twins sweep back in late May.

The game will be at 8:10 p.m. ET at Target Field.

For more information on the Minnesota Twins and Oakland Athletics, check out their respective SB Nation blogs at Twinkie Town and Athletics Nation. More news and analysis on MLB can be found at Baseball Nation.

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