(SportsNetwork.com) - Ricky Nolasco will try to pitch the Minnesota Twins to a series victory on Thursday afternoon when they conclude a four-game set against the Oakland Athletics.
Nolasco will make just his third start of the season and second since returning from right elbow inflammation.
The hurler yielded six runs over three innings in losing his season debut to Detroit on April 8 and was out of action for nearly a month. He returned to beat the Chicago White Sox on Saturday, giving up three runs on eight hits and a walk over five innings of a 5-3 victory.
The 32-year-old is 1-0 with a 1.69 earned run average in two career games versus Oakland, allowing three runs over 16 innings.
The Athletics will start left-hander Drew Pomeranz, whose winless stretch reached four straight outings last time out.
Pomeranz won his season debut back on April 10 with seven scoreless innings, but then dropped two starts in a row before back-to-back no-decisions. That includes last Saturday in Texas as he gave up three runs over 5 1/3 innings of his club's 8-7 loss.
Now 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA on the season, Pomeranz will face the Twins for the first time looking to get past the sixth inning for the first time since his lone victory.
The Twins had a five-game winning streak halted with a loss on Tuesday, but bounced back in a big way to win last night's meeting with the Athletics 13-0. Eddie Rosario hit one of three Minnesota homer runs in the game and his blast came on the first pitch of his major league career.
Rosario, who was called up from Triple-A Rochester on Monday, homered on the first offering he saw from A's left-hander Scott Kazmir in the third inning. He became the first Twins player to homer on his first big league pitch and just the 29th in Major League history to accomplish the feat.
"It was an awesome moment," said Rosario. "First at-bat. First pitch."
Eduardo Escobar went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and five RBI for the Twins, who improved to 7-3 on their 11-game homestand. Kennys Vargas added a three- run homer.
Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson gave up four hits over six scoreless innings.
Oakland outfielder Coco Crisp went 0-for-4 in his season debut. He began the season on the disabled list after having arthroscopic surgery last month to remove loose bodies and damaged tissue in his right elbow joint.
The 35-year-old veteran's recovery was expected to take between six and eight weeks, but he was back on the field in under five.
Kazmir allowed six runs on seven hits over six innings for Oakland, which hasn't won consecutive games since April 13-14 and fell to 3-3 on a 10-game road trip.
"It's very frustrating," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "There was a great feeling in here yesterday when we won a hard-fought game, one run and then today we have Kaz going to the mound, and we feel good about it. We just couldn't put together a good game."
Oakland has won 13 of 16 and 18 of its last 23 against the Twins.