10/05/2002 5:09 pm ET
Twins force Game 5 in Oakland
Seven-run inning was the turning point in Game 4
By Kent Schacht / MLB.com
It came a day later than expected, but the Metrodome finally got the best of the A's.
Minnesota's 11-2 Game 4 rout of Oakland turned when the usually solid A's gave up seven runs in the fourth inning, thanks in part to two errors and two wild pitches.
The big inning knocked starter Tim Hudson from the game and assured the A's of their fifth loss in three years in a game that they needed to win to advance to the American League Championship Series.
Now, the A's must shake off the pressure of past failures in big playoff games against a Minnesota team that knows it can win in Oakland and isn't feeling the weight of big expectations.
Oakland will ride the golden left arm of starter Mark Mulder on Sunday, hoping he can repeat his dominating performance of the Twins in Game 2, when he limited the Twins to five hits and one run before leaving with a big lead.
Mulder, who pitched and lost last season's Game 5 of the ALDS in New York, isn't concerned about pitching on three games rest, or about starting in the ultimate pressure situation.
"I would welcome it," he said. "I had the challenge last year against the Yankees, Game 5, and we came up short there, so I would love to get another chance at that.
"That's maybe why I am pitching here [in Game 2] is they have confidence in me to pitch in Game 5 if it comes down to it," Mulder said before his Game 2 start.
The Twins will turn to Game 1 starter Brad Radke, who didn't dominate, but held on for the victory in the opener of this series. Radke will hope his defense, which made three errors behind him in Game 1, performs better in Game 5.
It's do-or-die. It's Oakland's big expectations vs. Minnesota's search for respect. It's why they play the game.
Kent Schacht is an editorial producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.