Red-hot Twins aim to finish off A's

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 11:46 AM ET

Looking to put distance between themselves and the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central, the Minnesota Twins will try to continue their winning ways when they host the Oakland Athletics today in the finale of a three-game set at Target Field.

The Twins have won three in a row and eight of their last 10 contests and moved two games clear of the White Sox in the division standings after Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Athletics. Lefty Brian Duensing threw the first complete game of his career to lead the way, limiting Oakland to three hits on the night.

Making just his fifth start out of 44 appearances this season, Duensing (6-1) walked two batters and fanned four and didn't allow a hit after the third inning.

Orlando Hudson and Joe Mauer each knocked in a run for Minnesota, which extended its lead over Chicago in the Central after the White Sox lost to Detroit on Saturday.

Trevor Cahill (12-5), who had won his last three starts, allowed six hits and a run over seven innings for the Athletics, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Kevin Slowey, who missed some time recently with a sore elbow, will be back on the hill for Minnesota today for the first time since August 5. In that start, the right-hander surrendered four runs in 7 2/3 innings against Tampa Bay. Slowey, who did not factor in his team's win that day, finished with just one walk and nine strikeouts.

In three career starts against the A's, the young hurler is 2-0 with an outstanding 1.89 earned run average.

The Athletics will turn to Vin Mazzaro, who is winless in his last three outings. In his most recent setback, the New Jersey native allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings of work Monday against Seattle.

It was the fourth loss on the year for Mazzaro, who is facing the Twins for the first time in his career. Three of those setbacks have come on the road, where the right-hander has posted a 4.17 earned run average in nine appearances.

Minnesota has taken four of its five meetings with Oakland this season.


Photos