(Sports Network) - Tommy Milone hopes to get himself right on Wednesday when the Oakland Athletics go for a series win against the Minnesota Twins in the rubber match of a three-game series at the Coliseum.
Milone has been a big reason why the Athletics are right in the middle of the playoff chase in the American League, but has struggled of late, going 0-3 with a 7.50 ERA over his last four starts.
The 25-year-old lefty, who is 9-9 with a 4.03 ERA on the year, did not get a decision on Friday against Cleveland, as he allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings of a 6-4 win. He also struck out six, but hasn't won since beating the Twins back on July 14.
"I thought he was sharper," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said after Milone's last start. "I thought he was better."
Oakland got a lift from the return of Brett Anderson on Tuesday, as he tossed seven strong innings in his first start in over a year to lead the Athletics to a 4-1 win.
Anderson (1-0) allowed one run on four hits with six strikeouts and no walks. He had been sidelined for more than 14 months while recovering from Tommy John surgery.
"You remember your debut and this is kind of like my second debut," Anderson said. "It's always going to be special and I'll remember it forever."
Josh Donaldson had a pair of hits and an RBI, while Seth Smith scored twice for the Athletics, who have won five of their last six.
Cole De Vries (2-5) surrendered two runs on six hits and three walks through 5 2/3 innings to remain winless since June 30. He has four losses and six no decisions in that span.
"He battled, gave us a great effort and he really should have walked away with at least a no decision there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said about De Vries.
Ben Revere scored the lone run on a wild pitch for Minnesota, which fell for the 10th time in 12 games.
Getting the call for the Twins in the finale will be righty Liam Hendriks, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to replace the struggling Nick Blackburn. Hendriks made eight starts for the Twins earlier in the year and was 0-5 with a 7.04 ERA.
However, he pitched to a 2.20 ERA in 16 starts for the Red Wings.
"He's obviously had his struggles up here, but he's done very well in Triple- A," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Whether he can make the jump up here and separate remains to be seen. We'll get another opportunity to look at him. He's done what he's supposed to in Triple-A and they've actually told me he's the best pitcher in that league. And that's saying an awful lot. There's a lot of young arms in that league."
Minnesota has split its eight meetings with the A's this season after the teams went 4-4 against one another a year ago.