Mauer, Willingham help Twins top A's
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham each had three hits and two RBI to lead the Minnesota Twins past the Oakland Athletics, 7-2, in the opener of a three-game series.
Darin Mastroianni added a pair of hits and knocked in two runs for the Twins, who snapped a five-game slide.
Brian Duensing (3-8) allowed two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and a walk while striking out seven over six innings for Minnesota.
"To come out and get the first win of a series is huge," Duensing said.
Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson had an RBI apiece for Oakland, which saw its four-game win streak come to an end.
Brandon McCarthy (6-5) surrendered six runs on 10 hits and a walk in just 3 1/3 innings.
During the game, the Athletics acquired veteran shortstop Stephen Drew from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league infielder Sean Jamieson.
"He'll be a good fit here. He's a good all-around player," Athletics manager Bob Melvin said about Drew.
The Twins jumped out to a quick lead in the top of the first inning as Mastroianni and Mauer hit back-to-back one-out singles before Willingham followed with a double to right-center field, plating Mastroianni.
Mauer was then tagged out at home when he tried to score on a Justin Morneau grounder to third, but after Ryan Doumit was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Trevor Plouffe worked a walk to bring home Willingham.
Jamey Carroll popped out to second to end the inning.
Minnesota added to its lead in the second when Pedro Florimon hit a leadoff single, stole second and came home on Mastroianni's base hit through the left side of the infield. Mastroianni advanced to third on catcher Derek Norris' throwing error while stealing second and scored on Willingham's infield single for a 4-0 advantage.
Oakland answered with a run in the bottom of the second after Yoenis Cespedes led off the frame with a single, stole second and rounded third on Donaldson's one-out double to right-center field.
The A's cut into their deficit further in the third inning without the benefit of a hit as Coco Crisp reached first on Florimon's throwing error on a grounder to short, advanced to third on Carroll's missed catch error while stealing second and crossed the plate on Reddick's groundout to first.
But Florimon and Ben Revere hit back-to-back singles to start the fourth before each moved up a bag on Mastroianni's sacrifice bunt and came home on a Mauer base hit to right field.
Willingham followed with a single to knock McCarthy out of the game, but Travis Blackley entered in relief and induced a fielder's choice to second by Morneau and a fly ball to right by Doumit to keep it a 6-2 game.
After the Athletics left a runner on third in the fourth, Donaldson's two-out walk in the sixth inning would be the only base runner they would manage before the Twins added a run in the eighth when Florimon hit a one-out single and later scored on a Mastroianni sacrifice fly to right field.
Duensing improved to 3-1 in eight appearances (four starts) against Oakland ... McCarthy fell to 2-1 in 10 appearances (five starts) against the Twins ... The A's had their five-game home winning streak snapped ... Minnesota leads the season series between the teams, 4-3.
08/21 02:51:50 ET