American League Game Summary - Oakland at Minnesota
(Wednesday, May 30th)
Final Score: Minnesota 4, Oakland 0
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Francisco Liriano picked up his first win of the season on Wednesday and the Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Athletics with a 4-0 victory.
Liriano (1-5) began the year with five straight losses before being moved to the bullpen earlier this month. He returned to the starting rotation on Wednesday and allowed just three hits over six innings. He struck out nine, walked two and retired the final 11 batters he faced.
Josh Willingham had a two-run homer and drove in three for the Twins, who had lost five straight games before this series.
Tyson Ross (2-6) gave up four runs on six hits over five innings for Oakland, which has lost a season-high eight straight games.
"We just lose a little bit of our fight sometimes when things go in the other direction early on," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "That's not the way (we were) before this stretch...Losing streaks can take on a life of their own."
Ross, a loser in six of his last seven starts, gave up a double to Denard Span leading off the bottom of the first inning. A sacrifice bunt and a Joe Mauer walk placed runners at the corners before Willingham hit an RBI single to right. Mauer scored on Brian Dozier's two-out base hit, making it 2-0.
In the fifth inning Mauer walked again and Willingham, who belted a three-run walkoff homer on Tuesday, followed with a two-out, upper-deck blast to left to cap the scoring.
Liriano made five relief appearances after his demotion to the bullpen on May 9, but he looked every bit the starter on Wednesday.
In the third inning he gave up a leadoff single to Jemile Weeks, then issued a walk to Collin Cowgill. Josh Reddick followed with a line out to third baseman Jamey Carroll, who doubled Weeks up at second, and Liriano didn't allow another runner to reach base the rest of the way.
"We played some good defense behind our pitching staff," said Twins catcher Drew Butera. "(Liriano) set the tone and the bullpen came in and closed it out. It was a good team win."
The Twins earned their first three-game sweep of the season...Minnesota recorded its first three-game sweep of Oakland since Aug. 13-15, 2010...The A's are in the midst of their longest losing streak since dropping 10 straight games from May 30-June 9 last year.