Both clubs were swept over the weekend. Oakland, losers of a season-high five straight games, by the Yankees, while the Twins lost three to the Tigers and have dropped five straight for the second time this season.
Minnesota sits at the bottom of the American League and has gone 1-6 since winning a season-high four in a row from May 16-20. The club should feel good about Monday, however, as Scott Diamond has been its hottest pitcher since making his season debut May 8 against the Angels.
In four starts, Diamond has gone 3-1 and allowed three earned runs or fewer in each start -- including back-to-back scoreless seven-inning outings to start the year.
Diamond, who took his first loss of the year in his last start, is starting to realize the importance of utilizing the entire plate. The lefty has shown impressive command, walking just three batters in 25 1/3 innings, but he knows there is more to his art than just pounding the zone.
"I think I need to continue to mature a little bit in that sense," Diamond said. "I haven't had a problem throwing strikes so far, so I think I need to learn to expand the zone, rather than just constrict it to the strike zone. That's just an adjustment I need to continue to make."
Oakland will counter with a left-hander of its own in Travis Blackley, who will be making his first start since 2007. Blackley was acquired from the Giants earlier in May and has been used as a reliever by both San Francisco and the A's over seven appearances this season. He won all three starts he made for Triple-A Fresno.
"[Starting is] something I've done all my life in the Minor Leagues anyway, and before this season my big league experience had only been starting," Blackley said. "I'm treating it as the same thing, like I'm coming in and trying to eat up innings. That's going to be how I look at it."
"I don't really mind what I do, I'm just thankful I have a job up here at the moment and I'm doing everything I can to try and establish myself and help the team, obviously, to win games, because we need some wins right now. However I can help out, if it ends up that I stick in that role, then hopefully I run with it and do awesome."
Before heading to Minnesota, Oakland closed out a three-game set with the Yankees by dropping a season-high fifth game in a row. The A's will begin a six-game, seven-day road trip starting Monday that ends in Kansas City.
A's: Reddick swinging hot bat
Josh Reddick has homered four times in his past 10 games.
The A's outfielder in among the top 15 leaders in the American League in home runs (13), slugging (.541) and runs scored (30).
Oakland acquired Reddick in the offseason when it shipped closer Andrew Bailey to the Red Sox. While Bailey hasn't pitched a game with Boston because of thumb surgery, Reddick leads the A's in average (.271), RBIs (26), home runs, slugging and OPS (.873).
The A's are struggling to score runs, having been held to two runs or fewer in eight of their last 12 games. Over that stretch, Oakland is averaging 2.16 runs per game and has scored the fewest runs in the AL this season.
Oakland has been shut out eight times this season -- four in its past 12 games -- which is tied with the Angels for the most in the Majors.
Twins: Mauer heating up
Joe Mauer is putting a rough start to May behind him.
The Twins backstop extended his hit streak to seven games with a multihit effort against the Tigers on Sunday. Mauer has three multihit games over that stretch and five in his past 11 games, as well as one of the two homers he has hit this season.
Minnesota's All-Star catcher started the month by hitting .152 during his first 10 games, but he has since hit .351 over his last 15.
Sunday's loss to Detroit marked the first time this season that Minnesota has lost a game when leading after eight innings, falling to 14-1 in that scenario.
Blackley has never faced any Twins batters over his career, while Diamond has just faced Brandon Inge, who is set to return off the disabled list Monday. Inge is 2-for-4 with a walk lifetime against Diamond.