10/02/2002 8:02 pm ET
A's come up with big win
By Todd Lorenz / MLB.com
Oakland manager Art Howe said his team was "T'd off" after losing the Game 1 of the Division Series, and it showed in Game 2 when his A's teed off on Twins right-hander Joe Mays to even the series with a 9-1 victory at Network Associates Coliseum.
In a must-win game, the A's banged out nine hits and scored six runs against Mays in 3 2/3 innings before beating up reliever Tony Fiore for three more runs over 1 1/3 frames. Now they'll send Cy Young frontrunner Barry Zito to the hill in Game 3 at the Metrodome Friday night.
The Twins deflected talk of their difficulties against southpaws going into Game 2, but their struggles were obvious against left-hander Mark Mulder, who limited Minnesota to five hits and one run over six innings to earn the victory.
Things won't get any easier for the Twins when they face the left-handed Zito (23-5, 2.75 ERA) Friday night. After losing to Mulder, the Twins are 23-30 in games against southpaw starters.
The Twins best chance to take the series will be to beat Zito and Game 1 loser Tim Hudson at the Metrodome, because they certainly don't want to return to Oakland to face Hudson in Game 5.
History is on the Twins side as they return to the Metrodome. They are 11-1 under the dome in playoff games and have their hottest pitcher, Rick Reed (15-7, 3.78 ERA), heading to the hill.
Unfortunately for Reed, who went 9-2 in the second half, he'll have to deal with the monster Mays created. The Oakland offense has to be feeling pretty confident after pounding out 26 hits and scoring 14 runs in the first two games of the series.
The bottom line for the Twins, though, is that they got the split they had to have in Oakland. Now the A's will try to do the same in Minnesota.
Todd Lorenz is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.