The visiting Minnesota Twins and streaking Oakland Athletics hope to complete a twice-delayed series Wednesday afternoon when they are scheduled to contest the finale of a three-game set.
The A’s ran their winning streak to 10 with a 7-0, 1-0 doubleheader sweep on Tuesday.
Monday’s scheduled series opener was postponed a day due to the Twins’ COVID issues, and the twin-bill nightcap was paused for 25 minutes by a stadium light malfunction.
Right-handers Frankie Montas (2-1, 4.91 ERA) of the A’s and Kenta Maeda (1-1, 3.07) of the Twins are scheduled to get the ball, with each making his first career start against the opposition.
The A’s allowed just two runs total in the just-completed spin through their five-man rotation. Montas got the contagious efforts rolling with six shutout innings in a 3-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Friday.
The impressive start was the 28-year-old’s second in a row. On April 10, Montas limited the Houston Astros to one run on six hits over six innings in a 7-3 win that was the second of the Athletics’ current run.
Montas has faced the Twins five times in his career, but never as a starter. The six-year veteran has gone 0-0 with a 5.63 ERA against Minnesota.
The two wins Tuesday came on a milestone day for Bob Melvin, who managed his 1,472nd and 1,473rd games with the A’s. By doing so, he surpassed Tony La Russa (1,471) for the most games in the Oakland era of the franchise.
Melvin noted afterward it’s a nice feeling coming to the ballpark every day knowing one of his five starters will be getting the ball.
“I’ve said this many times,” he said, “that’s what gives us our confidence going out on the field.”
Maeda not only has never started against the A’s, but he’s never faced them in any capacity in his 151-appearance, six-year career.
He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in all three of his starts this season. The 33-year-old’s past two outings have resulted in 3-2 outcomes, with the Twins winning one and losing one.
Maeda will be facing an A’s team that has done more than just pitch well in its winning streak. Oakland has scored six or more runs in seven of the 10 games, including seven in Tuesday’s opener, which featured two home runs by Mitch Moreland and a grand slam from Matt Olson.
The Twins countered with just one extra-base hit — a double by Mitch Garver — and just eight hits in all in the pair of seven-inning contests.
After two previous postponements in Anaheim, Calif., the Twins hadn’t played since a 10-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Tuesday’s first-game loser, Matt Shoemaker, warned not to underestimate the impact of an unexpected three-day break in the middle of a road trip.
“Sometimes a day off is needed, but when you have multiple, it kind of gets guys out of rhythm, makes everyone kind of rusty,” he said. “It’s definitely a unique — and up to this point — not great road trip for me personally and for the team. Hopefully we can turn it around.”
The Twins have lost eight of nine, including each of the past three.
–Field Level Media