|Berrios, Twins look to beat A's|
All-Star Jose Berrios will try to snap a streak of six consecutive starts without a victory when he takes the mound Saturday night for the Minnesota Twins against the Oakland A's in Minneapolis.
The right-handed Berrios (8-5, 3.10 ERA) last won a decision on June 6 at Cleveland, 5-4. Since then he has gone 0-3 in six starts, including a 7-2 loss at Oakland on July 4, when he gave up three runs on six hits and three walks in five innings while striking out just two batters.
Berrios has struggled against Oakland in his career, compiling an 0-2 record and 6.32 ERA in three starts.
Left-hander Brett Anderson (9-5, 3.79) will start for the A's. Anderson is 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA in nine games (seven starts) against Minnesota and is 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA in three career starts at Target Field.
The teams have split the first two games of the four-game series, with Minnesota rallying to take the opener, 6-3, on Thursday night behind a three-run pinch-hit home run by Eddie Rosario while Oakland, with shortstop Marcus Semien leading the game off with a homer and finishing just a single short of the cycle, rebounding to win on Friday night, 5-3.
That victory moved Oakland into sole possession of the second wild-card spot, one game behind the Cleveland Indians for the first wild card. The A's haven't lost back-to-back games since dropping a doubleheader at Texas on June 8 and are 37-17 since May 16. That ties them with the New York Yankees for the best mark in baseball during that span.
"It seems like almost every time we come back and play a good game," Oakland manager Bob Melvin told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I think that's one of the things we've been able to do is put a tough one away. ...
"(Yesterday) was pretty rough, and the guys come back in the first inning (to take a 2-0 lead on Friday night). It's a tough group."
Oakland, which has closed to within 5 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros in the American League West, has won seven of its last eight games and is 20-6 in its last 26 games.
"It just shows the resiliency in our team," said infielder Chad Pinder, who drove in the final run with a sixth-inning single on Friday night.
Pinder said the series with the Twins, who saw their AL Central lead slip to three games, has a playoff feel to it.
"I got that vibe when they were at our place (in early July)," he said. "As you've seen the last two nights, this is a great ball club. These are the series where you have to really bear down and every single pitch counts."
Friday night's loss was the fourth in five games for Minnesota.
"Ultimately, it was one of those games where we just got beat, and that's going to happen," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "You can't really point to one thing or even two things (for the loss). I think overall it was just a game where we didn't do enough to win, and that's going to happen."
--Field Level Media