Twins edge A's in home openerApr 8, 2011 - 11:46 PM
Brett Anderson held Minnesota scoreless through seven innings, but that changed in the eighth. Danny Valencia reached base on an infield single, and pinch-hitter Jason Kubel stepped to the plate with two outs. His single to right put men on the corners. Denard Span tied the game with a sharp RBI single to right. Mauer drove in the go-ahead run with a single down the left field line. Justin Morneau flied out to end the frame.
Joe Nathan worked around a one-out single in the ninth to pick up his third save of the season. Nathan, who missed all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, made his Target Field debut on Friday.
"It was definitely a big win," Span said. "Our bats have been kind of slow in the early part of the season. It's good to come back home and give the fans something to cheer about."
Pavano (1-1) bounced back from a rough Opening Day effort, giving up one run on four hits. The right-hander was pounded by the Blue Jays for seven runs over four-plus innings last Friday.
The Twins recorded an AL-best 53-28 record at home last year in the inaugural season of their new open-air ballpark.
Anderson (0-1) gave up eight hits and struck out five batters for the A's, who are off to a 2-5 start.
"I thought Brett threw the ball very well," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "Bad luck as far as placement of three ground balls. You don't see three ground balls going through very often."
The only time Oakland was able to get to Pavano was in the first inning. Daric Barton worked a one-out walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, moved to third on Pavano's throwing error and scored on David DeJesus' sacrifice fly to center. Hideki Matsui flied out to end the frame.
Minnesota put men on first and second with two outs in the home first, but Michael Cuddyer grounded into a fielder's choice.
Anderson did not give up another hit until the sixth, when Span reached base on an infield single. But Mauer grounded into a double play to end that inning.
The Twins got another one-out single in the seventh, but another double play kept Minnesota off the board.
Anderson let a runner reach third base for the first time in the eighth, when things fell apart for the left-hander.
The A's best chance to add to their early 1-0 lead came in the third. Cliff Pennington led off with an infield single, stole second and moved to third on a groundout. But Barton went down looking and DeJesus grounded out.
Minnesota won six of its nine games with the A's last season...Morneau recorded his 1,000th career hit with an infield single in the first...Twins second baseman Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffered a broken left fibula in Thursday's 4-3 loss to the New York Yankees. On Friday, Nishioka was evaluated by Dr. John Steubs. It was determined that Nishioka will not need surgery or a cast. A timetable for his return will not be set until the soreness and swelling subsides...Anderson was terrific in his season debut last Saturday against Seattle, but did not get a decision despite allowing just a run and five hits in six innings. He also struck out five and walked a batter in his team's 5-2 setback...Span and Delmon Young each had two hits for the Twins...Oakland went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
- OAKLAND: 1
Apr 8 6:39 PM
- Joe Mauer single to left scored Matt Tolbert. Runners on first and second with two outs and Justin Morneau due up.
Athletics 1, Twins 2 Bot 8, 2 OutsApr 8 6:24 PM
- Denard Span single to right scored Danny Valencia. Runners on first and third with two outs and Joe Mauer due up.
Athletics 1, Twins 1 Bot 8, 2 OutsApr 8 6:22 PM
- David DeJesus sacrifice fly to center scored Daric Barton. None on with two outs and Josh Willingham due up.
Athletics 1, Twins 0 Top 1, 2 OutsApr 8 4:25 PM
- OAKLAND: 0
Top 1, 1 Out
Apr 8 4:19 PM
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