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Game Thread #9: A's at Twins

The A's try to win their fourth straight game this afternoon; first pitch from Target Field is at 10:10am Pacific.

Hannah Foslien

This afternoon (on the East Coast, anyway) the A's will try to complete their first sweep at the season, which would come at the expense of the team the A's have played best against over the last three seasons: the Minnesota Twins.

The big news today out of Oakland's camp is significant but unsurprising: Bob Melvin announced that Jim Johnson is no longer the A's closer, and that his club will close by committee until Johnson rights the ship and looks ready to handle the 9th. If there's a save situation today, expect Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook, Dan Otero, or Luke Gregerson to get the ball.

Derek Norris is catching again today against a right-hander, another sign that Melvin increasingly views him as an everyday catcher despite last year's significant righty/lefty splits. Coco Crisp is still out of the lineup after needing a cortisone shot in his wrist earlier in the week; Sam Fuld is replacing him in center field. And In another sign that Josh Reddick is quickly falling out of favor, Brandon Moss is getting the start in right field; Melvin could have put Alberto Callaspo at 2B, Moss at DH, held Nick Punto out of the lineup, and put Reddick in right.

Pitching-wise, Oakland's Dan Straily was solid in his first start, allowing three runs in six innings last Friday against the Mariners, but was simply no match for Seattle's Felix Hernandez. Minnesota's Mike Pelfrey gave up three runs in 5.1 innings last Friday against Cleveland, taking the loss in what ended up being a 7-2 Indians win. Lineups for the A's and Twins, with Straily (0-1, 4.50 ERA) opposing Pelfrey (0-1, 5.06):

1. Sam Fuld (L) CF
2. Jed Lowrie (S) SS
3. Josh Donaldson (R) 3B
4. Brandon Moss (L) RF
5. Yoenis Cespedes (R) LF
7. Derek Norris (R) C
8. Daric Barton (L) 1B
9. Nick Punto (S) 2B
2. Brian Dozier (R) 2B
3. Joe Mauer (L) 1B
4. Chris Colabello (R) DH
5. Jason Kubel (L) LF
6. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
7. Josmil Pinto (R) C
8. Aaron Hicks (S) CF
9. Eduardo Escobar (S) SS