Twins fall to A’s 9-4, swept in 3-game series

Published 9:26 am Monday, July 16, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins were cautiously optimistic heading into the All-Star break, thinking their best baseball of the season was ahead of them after a competitive road trip to Detroit and Texas.

Three games into the unofficial second half, they have slid back to 16 games under .500 and appear to have little chance of climbing out of the AL Central cellar.

Brian Duensing served up the latest dreadful start by a Twins pitcher, giving up six runs and seven hits in just two innings as the Oakland Athletics completed a three-game series sweep with a 9-4 victory on Sunday.

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It was the worst-case scenario for the Twins, who only got five innings from starter Cole De Vries in a loss on Saturday night.

“Their guy did his thing and shut us down but it all goes back to the starting pitching,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We used in two games here about 11 innings out of our bullpen. That’s not the way you go about your business so when you get that deep into your bullpen you’re in a lot of trouble.”