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Captain Kirk Beams Down to Save A's After Duke Leaves With an Injury

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The A's led this game from wire to wire. Not only did they never trail, but from the first pitch, a home run off the bat of Mark Ellis, the A's had positive margins over the surging Minnesota Twins. But while that's all fine and dandy, seeing the A's best starter, Justin Duchscherer, leave in the third inning with right hip soreness was not exactly roses and butterflies.

Luckily for the green and gold, Captain Kirk Saarloos, called up from months of exile in Sacramento, was ready to keep the A's on top. He managed three and two-thirds scoreless innings, keeping the Twins scoreless into the seventh inning, before giving way to Embree, Street and Ziegler, to close it out.

As is typical with the A's, not even a game where they led wire to wire was without thrills and spills. Duchscherer provided the spills, while Ziegler and Street gave up a run apiece to close the A's margin to 3-2, and the tying run reached base in the 9th, making extra innings an all too real possibility.

While the Twins outhit the A's 10-7, the A's made their hits count. most prominently a 2-run single by Suzuki that plated Cust and Thomas in the fourth. The game may be best remembered for Duke's leaving the game, and it just might signal a return to the DL, as it's the hip on which he had surgery in 2007, but it still counts as a W.

Hopefully, we'll hear some good news around Duke, but on this team? It's probably best to shut him down and we'll likely be seeing a lot more of Kirk going forward.