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Twins Vs. Athletics: Minnesota Tries To Avert Oakland Sweep

The Minnesota Twins turn to Brian Duensing as they try to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Oakland Athletics to open the second half.

Oakland took a 9-3 victory Saturday, as Twins starter Cole De Vries allowed seven earned runs to one of baseball's weakest offenses.

Duensing (1-5, 4.11 ERA) will be making just his fourth start of the 2012 season for Minnesota, though he has not pitched since taking an Alex Avila line drive off the ankle during a July 4 outing against Detroit.

Meanwhile, the A's will send rookie righty Jarrod Parker (5-4, 2.86 ERA) to the mound in search of his sixth win. Opponents are hitting just .216 off Parker, and he's sixth among American League rookie pitchers with 67 strikeouts.

Oakland has won eight of its last nine games, thanks mostly to a starting rotation with the best ERA (3.70) in Major League Baseball.

The Twins will need Brian Duensing to be sharp against a hot offense with a sparkling rookie pitcher opposing him.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm CT from Target Field.

For more on the Minnesota Twins, head over to Twinkie Town, and for more on the Oakland A's, head over to Athletics Nation. Check out SBNation's MLB page for all your news and analysis.

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