Though they come off a disappointing result, the Oakland Athletics figure to have a good chance to clinch their second straight division title by the end of their four-game home series with the struggling Minnesota Twins.
Dan Straily tries to win a fifth straight start and help the A's inch closer to the AL West crown in Thursday night's opener.
The Athletics (89-63) have won 17 of 23 but come off a 5-4, 11-inning home loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday. Josh Hamilton's two-run game-tying homer in the ninth accounted for Grant Balfour's third blown save, and Hamilton later put the Angels ahead with a sacrifice fly.
Balfour had set an Oakland record earlier this season by converting his 41st straight save opportunity, and his 38 this year are the most by an A's pitcher since Keith Foulke's 43 in 2003.
His cause wasn't helped by Josh Donaldson's error on a sacrifice bunt, which helped led to the decisive run.
"We've had tough losses and dramatic wins," manager Bob Melvin...