Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 5/30/12

By Dan Myers

Special to Sports XChange

MINNEAPOLIS -- Playing against his former team, Minnesota Twins left fielder Josh Willingham did it again Wednesday.

Less than 24 hours after clubbing a walk-off, three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Willingham blasted another homer Wednesday to lead the Twins to a 4-0 win over the Oakland A's.

The win completed a three-game sweep at Target Field and pushed Oakland's losing streak to eight.

Willingham, who started the season on fire for Minnesota, but had cooled of late, finished the three-game set with four hits and seven RBIs.

Perhaps more importantly for the Twins was the performance on the mound by hurler Francisco Liriano (1-5).

Banished the bullpen after beginning the season 0-5, the lefty pitched brilliantly in his first start since May 7. He allowed just three hits and two walks in six shutout innings, while striking out nine. After working out of a couple of early jams, Liriano retired the final 11 men he faced.

The Twins gave Liriano some early run support, scoring twice in the bottom of the first off Oakland starter Tyson Ross (2-6).

Denard Span led off the game with a double and sacrificed to third by Ben Revere. A Joe Mauer walk set up Willingham, who ripped a first-pitch fastball into center, plating Span and the game's first run.

Two batters later, shortstop Brian Dozier's soft single to center scored Mauer, staking Liriano to a 2-0 lead.

That's all the lefty would need.

Liriano struck out the side in the second inning and worked quickly, keeping the Athletics off balance all day.

Ross pitched effectively after the first too, but ran into trouble again in the fifth when he walked Mauer, then hung a curveball to Willingham, who crushed it into the second deck in left. The homer was his 10th of the season.

Ross left after five innings. He allowed four earned runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out one.

Minnesota is off Thursday before kicking off a six-game road trip -- all within the Central Division -- at Cleveland Friday night.

The A's also have Thursday off before continuing their Central Division swing on Friday night in Kansas City.

NOTES. The victory capped Minnesota's first three-game sweep of any opponent this season. The Twins did take two from Detroit May 16-17 at Comerica Park. ... Dozier's RBI single in the first snapped an 0-for-14 skid for the rookie shortstop. His previous hit and RBI came in the same game May 25 against the Tigers, a 10-6 loss last Friday night at Target Field. ... Oakland was shutout for the fifth time in its last 14 games and for the ninth time all season, taking over sole possession of the league lead in that category.

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