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Athletics eye four-game sweep of Twins

(SportsNetwork.com) - Major League Baseball's best team will try for a four- game sweep on Sunday afternoon, as the Oakland Athletics play host to the Minnesota Twins.

The Athletics cruised to a 9-4 victory on Saturday night, marking their 12th straight win over the Twins.

Derek Norris blasted his 10th home run of the season in the sixth inning and finished the game with five RBI. Josh Donaldson was 3-for-4 with two RBI, Stephen Vogt (2-for-5) belted his seventh homer of the year and Josh Reddick also collected two hits.

Jeff Samardzija (3-1) was strong in the victory, allowing two earned runs over six innings of work. He now has more wins in seven starts with the Athletics than he amassed in 17 starts with the Cubs earlier in the year (2-7).

Trevor May (0-1) struggled through his Major League debut, walking seven in just two innings while allowing four earned runs.

The Twins' 12 hits only led to four runs. Danny Santana, Kenny Vargas, Eduardo Escobar and Jordan Schafer all had two hits a piece.

On Sunday, the Twins hope to stop the bleeding by turning to Phil Hughes.

In his first season with Minnesota, Hughes has been a solid addition to the rotation. He's 11-8 with a 4.01 ERA, and he's displayed some of the best control in the majors by issuing just 14 walks over 143 2/3 innings.

Hughes had lost three straight starts prior to winning on Aug.5 against the Padres, when he allowed just one earned run over six innings while striking out nine. He left after 99 pitches after cracking a nail on his right index finger but has no concerns of its lingering effects.

"Usually it's painful at the time, but tends to grow out enough where it's fine by my next start," Hughes said.

Hughes has thrived on the road this season, going 7-3 with a 2.92 ERA in 11 starts.

For the Athletics, Jason Hammel will toe the rubber. After posting a 2.98 ERA in 17 starts with the Cubs, he's just 1-4 with a 7.15 ERA in five starts since being traded in early July.

Hammel bounced back after four straight losses to start his Athletics' career by winning on Aug. 5 against the Rays, pitching 5 2/3 shutout innings.

The 31-year-old right-hander has a 4.26 ERA in 31 2/3 career innings against the Twins.

Oakland is four games ahead of the LA Angels for the AL West lead.

08/10 10:25:00 ET

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