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A's use pitching, error to get by Twins

Apr 10, 2011 - 3:24 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Gio Gonzalez and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout and Oakland scored the game's lone run on an error in the sixth inning to beat the Twins at Target Field.

Gonzalez (2-0) allowed four hits and a pair of walks while fanning four over six innings. His ERA dipped to 0.69 through two starts this season. Grant Balfour yielded one hit over 1 1/3 innings and Brian Fuentes threw the final 1 2/3 innings for his second save.

"It was mostly the bullpen that did the great job," Gonzalez said. "It came down for me taking one step at a time. It was just a fun game to watch. We took advantage of a mental mistake they put out there."

Nick Blackburn (1-1) gave up five hits and the unearned run in six innings pitched.

Kurt Suzuki singled to left with two outs in the sixth and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mark Ellis then hit a grounder to shortstop Alexi Casilla, but the throw to first short-hopped and got past Justin Morneau. That accounted for the only run.

Oakland loaded the bases with one out in the next inning, but Dusty Hughes retired the final two batters to escape the jam.

Minnesota got a runner in scoring position in the eighth. Joe Mauer singled with one out, but Fuentes induced a groundout from Morneau and retired Delmon Young on a fly ball to right.

Michael Cuddyer walked to begin the bottom of the ninth, but the next three batters were retired in order. Luke Hughes struck out to end the contest.

The A's blew a golden opportunity to take the lead in the opening inning. Daric Barton hit a one-out ground-rule double to left, and Josh Willingham singled to left with two down. Barton, though, was thrown out at the plate by Young.

Ellis raced all the way to third the next inning on Denard Span's fielding error, but he was left stranded when Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded out.

"The last two days have been pretty tough for us," Span said. "I'm confident we're going to get it going pretty soon."

Game Notes

The Twins placed pitcher Kevin Slowey on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a right shoulder strain. In a corresponding move, the Twins recalled pitcher Alex Burnett from Triple-A Rochester...The Twins have yet to score a run in the first inning this season.. In the first inning, Twins hitters are 2-for-26...The rubber match of the three-game set Sunday will have Brandon McCarthy pitching for the A's and Scott Baker for the Twins...Blackburn fell to 0-5 lifetime against the A's.

  • OAKLAND: 1

    Apr 9 10:17 PM
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    Athletics 1, Twins 0  Top 7, 0 OutsApr 9 9:08 PM

  • Kevin Kouzmanoff singled to short. Runners on first and third with two outs and Cliff Pennington due up.

    Athletics 1, Twins 0  Top 6, 2 OutsApr 9 8:57 PM
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    Athletics 0, Twins 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 9 8:37 PM

  • OAKLAND: 0
    Top 1, 1 Out

    Apr 9 7:12 PM