Major League Baseball
Preview
Minnesota at Oakland
When: 9:05 PM ET, Saturday, September 22, 2018
Where: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, California

The Oakland Athletics have done some amazing things over the last few days and hope to continue doing so when they host the Minnesota Twins on Saturday for the middle contest of their three-game series. After outscoring the Los Angeles Angels 31-3 in back-to-back victories, Oakland squandered a four-run lead in the opener versus Minnesota and battled back to forge a tie before posting a 7-6 triumph in 10 innings.

Khris Davis was the offensive hero for the Athletics on Friday as he capped his seventh two-homer performance of the season by leading off the 10th frame with his major league-leading - and career-high - 45th blast. Mark Canha also recorded a personal best when he launched his 17th blast while pinch-hitting in the sixth inning to knot the contest for Oakland, which reduced its magic number to clinch a playoff berth to three. The Athletics trail the New York Yankees by 1 1/2 games for the top wild-card spot in the American League and are 3 1/2 behind first-place Houston in the AL West with eight contests remaining. Minnesota staged an impressive six-run rally in the sixth inning on Friday to overcome a 4-0 deficit but went on to lose for the first time in five games.

TV: 9:05 p.m. ET, FS North (Minnesota), NBCS California (Oakland)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Twins RH Chase De Jong (0-1, 3.68 ERA) vs. Athletics RH Mike Fiers (12-7, 3.38)

De Jong will be making his seventh career start and third since being acquired from Seattle on July 30 and being recalled from the minors when rosters expanded at the beginning of this month. Both of the 24-year-old Californian's previous turns this year came against Kansas City, as he worked four scoreless innings in a no-decision at home on Sept. 9 before yielding five runs - three earned - and eight hits over 3 1/3 frames in a road loss six days later. De Jong surrendered four runs, eight hits and five walks over 10 innings in one start and one relief appearance against Oakland last season - his first in the major leagues.

Fiers is coming off his first loss in eight starts with Oakland, a setback at Tampa Bay on Sunday in which he gave up three runs on four hits - two homers - and three walks over four innings. The 33-year-old Floridian won each of his first five decisions after coming over in a trade with Detroit on Aug. 6 and allowed fewer than three runs in six of his first seven turns with the Athletics. Fiers improved to 6-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 10 career appearances (nine starts) against the Twins on Aug. 25, when he permitted one run and five hits over 5 2/3 frames in Minnesota.

WALK-OFFS

1. Twins 2B Logan Forsythe (knee) was kept out of the starting lineup Friday while 3B Miguel Sano (knee) returned to Minnesota for further testing.

2. Oakland SS Marcus Semien has gone 4-for-8 with six RBIs over his last two contests.

3. Minnesota has suffered 14 walk-off losses this year - one shy of the club record set in 1964.

PREDICTION: Athletics 6, Twins 1
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Minnesota 71-82 L1 43-31 28-51 18-16 36-33 9-21 8-12
Oakland 93-61 W3 49-30 44-31 21-11 25-7 35-35 12-8
Last Meeting
Minnesota Oakland
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/21/18 MIN 6 OAK 7 x .237 1 .731 .219 3 .856
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota J. Polanco .312 5 .764
Oakland M. Chapman .417 10 1.315
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota T. Austin 3 4 3
Oakland M. Chapman 3 5 5
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 5.80 .229 37
Oakland 3.20 .287 37
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Minnesota E. Rosario .288 161 .803
Oakland M. Chapman .282 147 .878
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Minnesota E. Rosario 24 87 77
Oakland K. Davis 45 94 119
Pitching ERA Avg K
Minnesota 4.61 .247 1300
Oakland 3.80 .252 1171