Athletics try to halt slide against Twins

The Oakland Athletics try to put the brakes on a six-game losing streak this evening when they play the second test of a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.

Oakland's struggles continued in Monday's opener, as Ryan Doumit drove in the winning run, lifting Minnesota to a 5-4 win. Justin Morneau drove in a pair of runs, while Joe Mauer had two hits and two runs scored for the Twins, who snapped a five-game losing streak.

Scott Diamond gave up three runs on nine hits with a walk and four strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings for Minnesota. Alex Burnett (2-0) got the final two outs of the eighth to grab the win.

"I showed up ready and willing to play," said Diamond. "It was a good day out there to play baseball and I was just glad I was able to help us in getting a win."

Colin Cowgill had three hits, while Josh Reddick hit a solo homer and a triple and scored twice in the loss.

Travis Blackley pitched just five innings in the start and gave up a run on three hits. Ryan Cook (1-1) was tagged with the loss for giving up two runs in the eighth.

Tonight, Oakland turns to righty Jarrod Parker, who is 1-2 with a 3.37 ERA. Parker did not get a decision on Wednesday against the Angels, but pitched well, allowing just a run and five hits in seven innings. He also struck out eight and walked a batter.

"I thought that was his best start of the year," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "His velocity climbed back up, he had good touch with all of his pitches. That's the guy we envisioned him being as far as stuff goes, and he had a confident look on his face."

He has never faced Minnesota, which will counter with a young righty of its own in Cole De Vries. De Vries lost his major league debut to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, as he surrendered six runs and three home runs in five- plus innings.

"I try to be a positive person and I don't really know how I can't look at it positively," De Vries said. "I went out there and competed the best I could, given it was my first time and high emotions.

"As I get more comfortable out there, I know my pitches will start coming down."