10/04/2002 8:41 pm ET
A's silence dome, get momentum
Oakland takes 2-1 series lead with win
By Kent Schacht / MLB.com
Everything the Twins achieved in Oakland by winning Game 1 was lost quicker than a whisper at the Metrodome when the A's beat the Twins, 6-3, Friday.
The momentum -- and home-field advantage -- swung firmly back to the green and gold with their big win. Oakland is now just one win away from advancing in the postseason for the first time since 1990.
In silencing the Metrodome crowd and becoming the first visitor to take a playoff game in Minneapolis since the 1991 ALCS, the A's also put to rest any questions about whether they could win at in one of baseball's toughest venues.
Ricardo Rincon pitched two scoreless innings, shutting down the Twins after the A's built a three-run advantage, and silencing critics of the A's sometimes-shaky bullpen.
The A's also assured themselves at least one more game at Network Associates Coliseum this season -- a Game 5, with Mark Mulder on the hill, or much to their preference, the American League Championship Series.
Oakland played Twins-type baseball to take Friday's game, using Ray Durham's speed to score two runs. They also made a statement by getting two runs off of the Minnesota bullpen after starter Rick Reed exited -- something they hadn't done in the series until Friday.
Tim Hudson, who received a no decision, but didn't pitch particularly well in Game 1 for Oakland, will take the hill for the A's on Saturday. Hudson will be going on three days rest, but threw only 77 pitches in Game 1, and feels confident fatigue will not be an issue.
"Physically I feel fine, the same as I have," said Hudson. "It's just mentally just going out there and -- a day early and knowing that you have to get the ball one more day early, so that's all it is."
For Minnesota, the pressure of staving off elimination Saturday falls on the shoulders of Eric Milton (13-9, 4.84). Milton missed a month of the season with an injured knee, and went 0-2 with a 6.64 ERA in five September starts.
Milton admits he's short on big-game experience. "You know, I really haven't had many big games. There is our first postseason, looking forward to it. We are trying to get to where the A's have been, perennial post-season powers, and we are trying to get there, so [Saturday] will definitely be the biggest game of my career, no doubt."
Kent Schacht is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball.