Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/10/13
The Twins’ 2014 schedule revealed on Tuesday says the Oakland Athletics will be the first team to visit Target Field. So it was nice of the A’s to be here this week to help determine which of these Twins will be back here for that game seven months from now. One of those players under contract to be back is Josh Willingham signed for $7 million next year. Tuesday night Willingham gave hope that the 2014 model of the burly slugger might more closely resemble the 2012 version than the unlucky 2013 one. Willingham’s batting stroke has been slow to come back this year following July knee surgery. But Tuesday night against his old team he walloped two balls deep over the fence the second a two-run shot off righthander Ryan Cook in the eighth inning that erased a one-run deficit and supplied the winning runs in the Twins’ 4-3 victory. Earlier Willingham walloped a pitch more than 420 feet for a solo home run his first homer since Aug. 13. Arcia did his part to remind post-Justin Morneau Minnesota what it looks like when the cleanup hitter acts the part blasting his first career home run from the No. 4 spot in the order. Twins closer Glen Perkins pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 34th save. And Twins starter Liam Hendriks? Oakland doesn’t figure to see him on Opening Day but the question of whether he will be wearing a Twins uniform still is to be determined. And the Aussie righthander didn’t do much to help — or hurt — his chances. Hendriks pitched into the sixth inning and as is almost always the case left without earning a victory; he has only two wins in 27 career appearances after all. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out a career-high six but hit two A’s with pitches in both cases leading to trouble. He cruised through four innings but surrendered his 1-0 lead on an Alberto Callaspo home run immediately after plunking Yoenis Cespedes with a pitch. Then he hit Brandon Moss with a 1-2 pitch in the sixth inning moving Josh Donaldson into scoring position. Next batter: Cespedes who singled Donaldson home.
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