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Game Thread #146: A’s at Twins

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The A's will attempt to sweep the Twins this morning behind A.J. Griffin and the all right-handed lineup. With Texas on an off-day, the A's have an opportunity to increase their lead to 3.5 games before going into a pivotal three-game series in Texas this weekend.

Brian Bahr

Somewhere during last night's drubbing, this afternoon's starter, A.J. Griffin was probably saying "Hey guys, save some for me!" Indeed, behind Griffin, the A's will attempt to take the series from the Twins during their only visit to Target Field this year. While much has been made of Griffin's home runs allowed, he has been better in his last 3 starts. In those 18 innings, he's allowed only 3 walks, 3 HR, and struck out 20 batters. Not great, but controlling the walks seems to have definitely helped him.

As historical of a drubbing as it was, it's a new game today and the A's need to again score early and often off of a Twins starter. In one career start against the A's for Minnesota starter Scott Diamond, he went 6.1 innings, allowed 3 runs (2 home runs), and walked one and struck out four. With an average fastball of around 88 MPH, Diamond is a stereotypical Twins starter. Fairly pedestrian numbers, but the A's will likely to need much more than that to make this a comfortable a game.

The lineup is posted below. Note the appearance of Chris Young and Josh Reddick in the outfield together for a left-hander. Personally, I would like to see Choice and Moss in there instead.

Grab your coffee and join us here. First pitch will be at 10:05 AM. If you're an NRAF (or know how to get around the restrictions), note that it is also the free game of the day on MLB.tv.