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Updated: July 14th, 2012 9:20pm
Cole De Vries follows best career start with his worst in loss to A's

Cole De Vries follows best career start with his worst in loss to A's

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Twins right-hander Cole De Vries was hit hard in a 9-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.

The skinny

De Vries followed up the best start of his major league career with by far the worst.

A two-out RBI double by Yeonis Cespedes opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, and Chris Carter followed two batters later with a three-run bomb to put Oakland in front 4-0.

Cespedes added an opposite-field, two-run homer in the top of the third inning, and Seth Smith hit a solo shot halfway up the second deck in right-center field in the fifth.

De Vries was charged with seven earned runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked none, but the three home runs allowed now make it nine total in only 35 innings this season.

"A bad ballgame," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Cole was up. Everything he threw was up. You could see even the pitches they were swinging through were belt-high and across the plate. He was just never really able to make any adjustments. ...

In his last start before the All-Star break, De Vries held the Texas Rangers scoreless for seven innings, striking out five while walking only one and allowing only three hits.

"I felt real weak for whatever reason," De Vries said. "For the first inning or two I just felt overly hot, and so I knew that my ball was up the whole night. ... I just didn't have a very good night. ...

"It was just a game where I didn't feel well. I know those games are going to happen, and I know that's not the kind of pitcher I am, and so that's why it's unfortunate that I pitched that way tonight."

The Twins scored on solo home runs by Brian Dozier in the third inning and Josh Willingham in the eighth, and on an RBI single by Justin Morneau in the sixth. After Morneau's single, the Twins loaded the bases with nobody out but were unable to plate any more runs.

A's left-hander Tommy Milone went six innings, allowing two earned runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out four.

Every Twins starter had at least one hit.

Turning point

Carter's home run seemed to put the game out of reach before the Twins even had a chance to bat.

Numbers game

145: Wins in a Twins (or Senators) uniform for Camilo Pascual, who was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame on Saturday. Pascual led the American League in strikeouts for three straight years from 1961 to 1963. He also recorded 36 career shutouts.

22: Home runs for Willingham.

4: Home runs for Dozier.

3: Twins runners thrown out on the base paths, including Denard Span getting gunned down at second base while trying to take advantage of an errant throw to first base, Ben Revere getting tagged out trying to advance to third on a groundball to the left side of the infield, and Ryan Doumit getting tagged out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.

"Silly outs on the base paths a few times," Gardenhire said. "Span's was aggressive. The guy made a hell of a throw on him. ... Ben Revere, we're down six runs, the ball's hit (to the left side), that's just silly. Even if you wind up staying at second base, when the ball's in front of you you can't get tagged there. That's bad base running."

12: Consecutive games with a hit for Morneau.

6: Sellouts for the Twins at Target Field.

Health report

RHP Matt Capps, in his first appearance since coming off the disabled list, pitched a clean eighth inning. It's worth noting that his velocity was 3-4 mph lower than usual.

On deck

Sunday: vs. A's, 1:10 p.m. LHP Brian Duensing (1-5, 4.11) vs. RHP Jarrod Parker (5-4, 2.86)
Monday: vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. LHP Scott Diamond (7-3, 2.62) vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (1-0, 1.93)
Tuesday: vs. Orioles, 7:10 p.m. RHP Sam Deduno (0-0, 5.06) vs. TBD

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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