Minnesota Twins (51-63) at Oakland Athletics (71-44), 9:05 p.m. (ET)
08/09/2014 7:24 AM
08/09/2014 7:31 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The best team in baseball will try for a series win on Saturday night, as the Oakland Athletics play host to the Minnesota Twins.
Oakland held off a late surge by the Twins on Friday night to cling to a 6-5 victory.
The Athletics scored four runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to go up 6-0 only to surrender five runs in the top of the seventh, but the Twins could not muster any more offense the rest of the way.
Scott Kazmir (13-4) was cruising until the seventh, leaving after 6 2/3 innings having allowed five hits and five earned runs, but he still earned the victory.
Sean Doolittle notched his 18th save.
Coco Crisp knocked in three runs out of the leadoff spot and Eric Sogard had a pair of RBI from the nine hole.
Kyle Gibson (10-9) took the loss for the Twins, yielding five hits, five walks and six runs (five earned).
Kenny Vargas (2-for-4) was the only player with multiple hits on the night. Chris Parmalee delivered a two-run double in the seventh.
Saturday will mark the Major League debut for Trevor May, who the Twins called up from Triple-A Rochester earlier this week.
After struggling throughout the 2013 season, May found his groove in the International League this year, going 8-6 with a 2.93 ERA over 17 starts, striking out 91 in 95 1/3 innings.
The 23-year-old right-hander joined the Twins' organization prior to the 2013 season in a deal that sent Ben Revere to the Phillies.
Jeff Samardzija will make his seventh start with the Athletics. He's 2-1 with a 3.09 ERA since joining the club in early July, leaving him 4-8 with a 2.91 ERA for the season with 133 strikeouts paired with just 36 walks.
The power right-hander is fresh off a no-decision in his latest start, allowing just five hits and a walk over seven innings of work versus Tampa Bay on Aug. 4.
"I love this team, man," Samardzija said of his new squad. "I love how they play. They don't quit. Every at-bat means the world to each guy, and you see that in their emotions, how they react to each at-bat."
The 29-year-old has enjoyed his four starts at the Coliseum, going 2-0 with a 2.48 ERA while allowing just 23 base runners in 29 innings.
Oakland took Thursday's series opener, 3-0, and has won four of the last five games. It sits four games clear of the LA Angels for the AL West lead and has defeated the Twins in the past 11 meetings.
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