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MINNEAPOLIS -- By the time Dan Straily took the mound for the second inning, he knew he just didnt have it. His velocity nowhere to be found, the 25-year-old right-hander took the next step in his maturation process by gritting his teeth, focusing on location and changing speeds over anything flashy and shutting down the Minnesota Twins. Straily pitched three-hit ball for seven innings and Sam Fuld hit a rare home run to help the Oakland Athletics complete a three-game sweep with a 6-1 victory Thursday. "Its part of learning from the past, from last year," said Straily (1-1), who gave up one run and struck out five. "On days when I didnt have my best stuff, I would try to pitch like I did and it would cost me. After the second inning, I realized I didnt have my A stuff in my arm today. So it was just a matter of mixing speeds and keeping everybody off balance. The Athletics rotation has opened the season with nine straight starts allowing three runs or less and has compiled a 1.93 ERA in 56 innings. "Theyve done a great job. So far, so good," Josh Donaldson said of the rotation. "Cant really complain about what theyve done. Thats what we expect from them." Fuld hit just his sixth homer in 738 career plate appearances and singled. Donaldson had a two-run homer and an RBI single for the Athletics (6-3). Mike Pelfrey (0-2) gave up six runs on nine hits and four walks in five innings. The Twins have had only one quality start in their first nine games. Brian Dozier hit his third home run of the season for Minnesota. Straily was selected in the 24th round of the 2009 draft, just another in the seemingly endless line of young, strong starting pitchers churned out by Billy Beanes Moneyball machine. Last year he led all AL rookies in starts, innings and strikeouts, and he brushed off the early homer to Dozier to slow down the Twins for the rest of the game. He allowed two baserunners -- both on walks -- over his final five innings "It wasnt his best velocity," manager Bob Melvin said. "He was throwing basically 87 mph today. But hes always got that slider in his pocket. He threw a few more changeups today and a few more curveballs, so he kept them off balance more than he typically pitches." Pelfrey had no such luck, labouring through another poor outing for Minnesotas starting rotation. Donaldsons homer in the third inning put him behind 3-1 and he walked No. 9 hitter Nick Punto in the fourth before Fuld yanked a pitch just over the wall in right field for a 5-1 lead. "I think all the way around, I was terrible today," Pelfrey said. The cushion allowed the As to avoid a save situation on the same day Melvin demoted struggling closer Jim Johnson, who is 0-2 with an 18.90 ERA in five appearances this season. The As will go with a closer-by-committee approach while they try to get Johnson straightened out, Melvin said. "Were all pulling for the same thing. Were all in it together," Straily said. "Its just a brotherhood mentality that we have in this clubhouse. Its something special." NOTES: The announced attendance of 20,650 was the smallest in Target Field history. ... Umpires reviewed a play in the sixth inning in which Jed Lowrie was thrown out at home by Twins CF Aaron Hicks. Umpires were looking to see if C Josmil Pinto was illegally blocking the plate. The call of an out was confirmed. ... Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said star prospect Byron Buxton likely will not start playing until May because of a wrist injury. ... The Twins open a series against Kansas City on Friday night. RHP Kyle Gibson (1-0, 1.80) will start the opener against Royals LHP Bruce Chen (0-0, 1.42). ... The Athletics head to Seattle for a series against the Mariners. LHP Tommy Milone will make his first start of the season on Friday night against Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez (2-0, 1.88). Edwin Diaz Jersey . Cleveland released the troubled wide receiver on Wednesday, an expected ending after Bess was arrested in January for assaulting a law enforcement officer at an airport and other bizarre behaviour. Custom Seattle Mariners Jerseys . Lineup news, Fantasy and more in Scott Cullen’s Statistically Speaking. HEROES St. Louis Blues – After rolling the San Jose Sharks for seven goals, for the second time in a week, the Blues have a bunch of players on hot streaks. http://www.marinersrookiestore.com/Mari ... ds-Jersey/. -- The Sacramento Kings and guard Jimmer Fredette have completed a buyout of his contract, clearing the way for the former BYU sensation to become a free agent. Ben Gamel Jersey . -- Rookie Victor Oladipo came off the bench to score 20 points and Glen Davis had 18, leading the Orlando Magic to a 112-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. Hisashi Iwakuma Jersey . The 7-foot-1 Hawes, who is in the final year of his contract, is averaging 13 points and 8.5 rebounds, both career highs, and shoots 40 per cent from 3-point range. The 25-year-old Hawes is in his seventh NBA season.It was back in 1991 that Stephen Ames got a taste of what life in Canada would be like. For a guy raised in the tropical temperatures of Trinidad, it was a rude Calgary welcome. "I think the wind chill was minus-55," he said recalling his first Canadian winter spent living in the basement of his mother-in-laws house. "I never left the house." Ames has never really grown fond of winter, but he has certainly fallen in love with Canada. On Wednesday, the country paid him back for that by naming him to the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. A four-time winner on the PGA Tour including the 2006 Players, Ames is winding down his career on the regular tour and preparing to join the 50-and-over gang on the Champions circuit in April after reaching the magic age of 50. For most of this year, hell split his time between the two tours using his top 50-career money list exemption on the PGA Tour. When asked what he thought the difference between the two tours would be, Ames said it might have to do with what happens off the course. "I think its the 19th hole," he said with a chuckle. "I think its a bit more relaxed after the round." Ames would be a worthy inductee based solely on his playing record, but his contributions to Canadian golf go well beyond that. He has run the Stephen Ames Cup for the past decade, a team event that pits squads from Canada against those from Trinidad. Some of the youngsters who have participated in that event have gone on to earn U.S. college scholarships. And he was instrumental in bringing the Shaw Charity Classic to Calgary, helping line up a team of big rollers in the Western Canadian city to lay the foundation for the Champions Tour event. Ames was also the guy who gave an energetic young teacher named Sean Foley a chance to work with a PGA Tour pro. We all know where thats gone. When asked what the top mark of his career is, Ames didnt hesitate. "Its this," he stated, in reference to his indduction.dddddddddddd "I think being in the Hall of Fame is the highlight." On the course, Ames said that his Players victory was at the top of his personal list. I can say that in all the golf Ive covered and watched, that is simply the best 18 holes of golf Ive ever witnessed. Ive never seen anyone control his golf ball for every shot as Ames did that day. All he did was beat the best field in golf by six shots. I remember some of the biggest names in the game that day shaking their heads in disbelief at what he was doing to TPC Sawgrass. For some people, Ames is seen as a prickly personality but to those who get to know him, nothing could be further from the truth. Hes a guy with a huge heart who loves to laugh and loves his family. Sometimes when he speaks his mind, it can get him in trouble such as the occasion when he questioned Tiger Woods driving ahead of the 2006 Match Play. While a lot was made of that and the subsequent beating Woods laid on him, what he said wasnt wrong. Woods was hitting it all over the lot with his driver. After he won the Players, some media members took him to task for saying he might skip the Masters to go on a family vacation. They couldnt understand how someone would pass up the years first major, the one thats exceptionally difficult to get into. What many failed to realize was that his wife, Jodi, was recovering from surgery for lung cancer. Suddenly a golf tournament, even the Masters, didnt seem so important. There are also still some who, for small-minded reasons, dont even consider him a Canadian. To me, a guy who leaves his native country to willingly take up citizenship, to give back to the game here, to start businesses here, to create tournaments here and make his home full time in Canada – and even cheer for the Calgary Flames -- is about as Maple Leaf as they come. Ames is more than deserving of a spot in Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, even if hes never learned to love those nasty wind chills. 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