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Updated: July 15th, 2012 4:26pm
Twins pitchers battered by Oakland bats yet again as A's finish sweep

Twins pitchers battered by Oakland bats yet again as A's finish sweep

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Duensing's start lasted only two innings in a 9-4 beat-down by the Oakland A's over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon that completed a three-game sweep.

The skinny

The A's grinded Duensing down in a 22-minute top of the first inning, scoring runs on an RBI single by Yeonis Cespedes and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Derek Norris.

The A's then delivered big blows in the top of the second inning with a two-run homer by Jonny Gomes and back-to-back solo home runs by Cespedes and Chris Carter.

The last time the Twins saw Carter was back in 2010, when the top prospect was in the midst of an 0-for-32 stretch to start his major league career.

Things have changed. Carter's blast off Duensing was his second home run of the series and fifth home run in just 30 plate appearances since being called up from Triple-A in late June.

"He tested our distance out on our field," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Let's put it that way."

Casey Fien pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Duensing, who was charged with six earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three.

Seth Smith greeted right-hander Jeff Gray with an upper-deck, solo home run to right field in the sixth inning. A few batters later, Cespedes singled to put the A's up 8-2, and Gomes later scored on a wild pitch thrown by Alex Burnett to plate Oakland's ninth run.

The Twins scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Josh Willingham in the first inning, and a sac fly by Alexi Casilla in the second. Ryan Doumit doubled home a run in the sixth.

A's starter Jarrod Parker was charged with four earned runs on nine hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked none.

Cespedes finished the series 8-for-14 with a double, two home runs and six RBIs.

This marked the seventh time the Twins have been swept this season and first since May 25-27 vs. Detroit.

Turning point

A 41-pitch first inning by Duensing set the tone.

"I got shelled," Duensing said. "That's about it. They hit homer after homer. ...

"I felt fine in the bullpen. I threw a no-hitter in the bullpen. I don't know. It somehow didn't transfer today. It was just a really bad day."

Numbers game

9: Home runs for the A's this series.

119: Home runs allowed by Twins pitchers this season, which leads the majors.

10: Different pitchers used by both teams, including seven by the Twins.

4: Hits for Cespedes on Sunday, marking a new career-high.

Health report

RHP P.J. Walters is back in Minneapolis getting examined after experiencing more inflammation in the front of his right shoulder.

Gardenhire said Matt Capps (shoulder) felt fine after his one-inning outing on Saturday, although the right-hander's velocity was 3-4 mph lower than usual.

On deck

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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