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Twins Vs Athletics: Minnesota Continues West Coast Swing In Oakland

Fresh off of their first win in a week and a half, the Minnesota Twins head into Oakland on this Wednesday evening to take on the Athletics, who are sporting one of the league's hottest lineups.

Over the course of their last four games, the Athletics are hitting .315 as a team. That includes a 14-0 bloodletting against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night, a victory that gave them a share of the American League West lead.

Facing a lineup this hot, and showing a complete inability to generate any real offense of their own, the Twins could use an ace-like performance from tonight's starting pitcher, Carl Pavano (2-4, 5.89 ERA). Pavano has been pretty bad for most of this year, but comes into Wednesday's game looking for career victory number 100. He wasn't bad in his last start, as he pitched 5.1 scoreless innings against Toronto on Friday in a game the Twins ultimately lost 2-0, and the Twins could use a similar performance tonight.

The Athletics will send Brandon McCarthy (1-4, 3.34 ERA) to the mound. McCarthy's only victory of the season came against the Twins, as he allowed two runs and nine hits over 7.1 innings in a 5-3 Oakland victory on April 10, but he's 0-4 with an ERA of 3.89 in his last five outings.

Delmon Young will be on the bench again this evening for the Twins, with Ben Revere replacing him in left field. Young has been awful since he came back off of the disabled list, and hasn't shown any hustle in the field, so it's understandable why Ron Gardenhire has him on the pine.

Here are the lineups for tonight's game. . .first for the visiting Twins.

Denard Span, center field
Trevor Plouffe, shortstop
Jason Kubel, designated hitter
Justin Morneau, first base
Michael Cuddyer, right field
Danny Valencia, third base
Ben Revere, left field
Drew Butera, catcher
Alexi Casilla, second base

And for the Oakland Athletics.

David DeJesus, right field
Daric Barton, first base
Josh Willingham, left field
Hideki Matsui, designated hitter
Kurt Suzuki, catcher
Ryan Sweeney, center field
Mark Ellis, second base
Kevin Kouzmanoff, third base
Cliff Pennington, shortstop

First pitch for this one is scheduled for 9:05 PM Central time. Be sure to hit the Game Thread at Twinkie Town for in-game discussion, and come back here for the recap.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.