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Baker, Cuddyer help Twins get back into win column

Jul 13, 2007 - 4:42 AM MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Scott Baker bounced back from a poor start. Chad Gaudin could not find the strike zone and ultimately paid for it.

Baker threw six solid innings and Michael Cuddyer went 4-for-4 with an RBI as the Minnesota Twins took advantage of four first-inning walks by Gaudin and posted a 6-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

Baker (4-3), who allowed a season-high seven runs and nine hits against Chicago in a 20-14 slugfest win on Friday, rebounded in this one. He yielded just two runs and five hits in six innings, helping the Twins snap a two-game skid and start the second half of the season on a good note.

"It allows you to come right at some guys instead of trying to make great pitches every single pitch," Baker said of the early run support. "There is a little more room for error."

Two relievers bridged the gap to closer Joe Nathan, who worked a scoreless ninth as the Twins took the opener of the four-game series.

Meanwhile, Cuddyer finished a home run shy of the cycle for Minnesota, which scored 32 runs in Friday's doubleheader sweep of Chicago but managed just four over its following two games.

Gaudin's sudden inability to throw strikes contributed to an early lead for the Twins. Gaudin, who entered fourth in the American League in walks allowed, issued four - one intentional - in the first inning as Minnesota jumped to a 2-0 advantage.

"Not the way I wanted to start the second half," Gaudin said. "They worked the count really well. A couple balls were just off, if not close. They made me really, really throw a lot of strikes, and I didn't do it too often."

Luis Castillo drew a leadoff walk and, after a forceout, Joe Mauer also walked. Cuddyer followed with an RBI single to left and Gaudin (8-4) uncorked a wild pitch before deciding to intentionally walk reigning AL MVP Justin Morneau.

Unintentionally, Gaudin proceeded to walk Torii Hunter and force in Minnesota's second run of the game.

"We were patient," Cuddyer said. "We were able to get some walks. Torii had a great at-bat with the bases loaded. It was nice to see guys put together great at-bats like that."

In the second inning, Gaudin let the Twins hit the ball, a plan that also failed to work.

Rookie Garrett Jones led off with a single and went to third on Nick Punto's double before scoring on a groundout by Castillo, making it 3-0. Jason Bartlett followed with an RBI single to center for a four-run bulge.

"(Gaudin) was throwing balls away and inside. We got jammed and we were hitting balls off the end of the bat," Hunter said. "The second time around, we kind of figured him out a little bit and tried to make him work a little bit. Usually, he isn't like that."

Gaudin lasted a season-low four innings, allowing five runs, six hits and five walks. The hits and walks totals were season highs for the righthander, who had his personal two-game winning streak snapped.

"He wasn't all over the place," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "(Catcher Jason Kendall) said his ball was sinking and cutting, which are usually good things. But he was just missing the strike zone."

Oakland, which has lost four straight, got two runs back in the fifth, when Bobby Crosby hit a one-out double and scored two batters later on a two-base hit by Shannon Stewart. Mark Kotsay plated Stewart with a single, halving the deficit.

That was as close as the Athletics got, as Morneau delivered an RBI single in the bottom of the frame and Cuddyer tripled and scored in the seventh.

A former Twin, Stewart went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current run in the AL.

The Athletics have been outscored, 24-6, during their current skid.

"Obviously, we have to get the offense going a little bit," Geren said. "The story was really, we fell behind and didn't have the offense to catch back up."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 5 0
    MINNESOTA 2 2 0 0 1 0 1 0 x 6 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - CHAD GAUDIN, JOE KENNEDY (5TH), KIKO CALERO (7TH), JAY
    MARSHALL (8TH), ANDREW BROWN (8TH) AND JASON KENDALL
    MIN - SCOTT BAKER, MATT GUERRIER (7TH), DENNYS REY

    Jul 12 10:47 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY TORII HUNTER SCORED MICHAEL CUDDYER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 0 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    MINNESOTA 6 END BOTTOM, 7TH

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 10:23 PM
  • 10
    roots
    joestilwell Added 5 roots

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 10:20 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MORNEAU ON FIRST, M CUDDYER ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    MINNESOTA 5 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: T HUNTER (.300, 0-FOR-1, BB, RBI)

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 9:46 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED SHANNON STEWART.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M KOTSAY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: N SWISHER (.265, 1-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 9:37 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY SHANNON STEWART SCORED BOBBY CROSBY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S STEWART ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    MINNESOTA 4 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M KOTSAY (.227, 0-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 9:35 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON BARTLETT SCORED NICK PUNTO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J BARTLETT ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    MINNESOTA 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MAUER (.309, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 8:51 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY LUIS CASTILLO SCORED GARRETT JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N PUNTO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    MINNESOTA 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J BARTLETT (.253, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 8:48 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO TORII HUNTER SCORED JOE MAUER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, T HUNTER ON FIRST, J MORNEAU ON SECOND, M
    CUDDYER ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    MINNESOTA 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J KUBEL (.250, 7 HR, 37 RBI)

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 8:32 PM


  • AL
    AT MINNESOTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL CUDDYER SCORED JASON BARTLETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CUDDYER ON FIRST, J MAUER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    MINNESOTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: J MORNEAU (.295, 24 HR, 74 RBI)

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 12 8:27 PM
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    roots
    buckeyes2355 Added 5 roots

    Athletics vs. TwinsJul 11 10:01 PM