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                  === A's, Gray continue series with Twins ===
 
 (Sports  Network) - Sonny Gray tries to avoid his third loss in four starts on
 Wednesday  when  the Oakland  Athletics continue a  three-game series with the
 Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
 
 After  tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings against Tampa Bay, Gray lost to Houston
 on  Thursday,  as he  allowed three  runs (2  earned) and  seven hits in eight
 innings to fall to 2-3 to go along with a 2.51 ERA.
 
 Minnesota, meanwhile, will counter with righty Mike Pelfrey, who was awful his
 last  time  out. Following  a pair  of one-run outings,  Pelfrey was rocked by
 Toronto  for six runs  (5 earned) and six hits in six innings, dropping him to
 5-11, while raising his ERA to 4.97.
 
 "I felt like it was kind of a wasted day," said Pelfrey, who pitched to a 3.60
 ERA  in  six August starts.  "I thought  my stuff was  good, but I didn't make
 enough  quality pitches  in the third inning  and they kicked my butt. I guess
 you  tip your cap,  because I went out there and gave it everything I have and
 they  beat me.  But that  third inning  can't happen  and ended  up being  the
 ballgame."
 
 In  Tuesday's opener, Josh Willingham's upper-deck two-run blast in the eighth
 inning  propelled Minnesota to  a 4-3 win. Willingham also hit a solo home run
 as did Oswaldo Arcia for the Twins, who have won their past two.
 
 "That was nice to see him get that, he needed to get a smile on his face. It's
 been a battle for him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Willingham.
 
 Liam  Hendriks pitched 5  1/3 innings in the start as he gave up three runs on
 seven  hits with  six strikeouts.  Anthony Swarzak  (2-2) pitched  a scoreless
 eighth for the win.
 
 Alberto  Callaspo smacked  a two-run home run while Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI
 and a run scored for the Athletics, who are two games up on the Rangers in the
 AL West.
 
 Jarrod  Parker  was in line for  the win as he  gave up just two runs on seven
 hits  with  three walks and  four strikeouts in six  innings. He hasn't lost a
 game since May 22 and is 9-0 over his last 19 starts.
 
 Oakland was 5-4 last season against the Twins.
 
 09/11 11:00:52 ET