It's getting down to the pointy end of the 2020 MLB season and both teams with Aussies on their 40-man rosters are racing towards playoffs.
West Australian Liam Hendriks added to his win and save tally in another fantastic week, while Victorian Lewis Thorpe remains at Minnesota's alternate training site having pitched 16.1 innings this season.
Fresh off of earning the MLB American League Reliever of the Month honours for August, West Australian Liam Hendriks continues to lead Oakland as the A's maintain their top spot in the American League West division.
The right-hander entered the Saturday, 5 September game at Oakland Coliseum against San Diego at the top of ninth, the Padres down by five runs.
While Hendriks did give up a run - his first in eight games -, he still struck out two as the Athletics recorded an 8-4 win.
Jurickson Profar was the first to go down swinging, before Trent Grisham and Fernando Tatis Jr made contact, the latter reaching second, prompting two runners to be in scoring positions.
A Manny Machado sacrifice fly allowed Grisham to score before Hendriks put the game to bed by striking out Mitch Moreland.
Travelling to Houston on Tuesday, 8 September, Hendriks collected his 11th save of the 2020 season, entering in the seventh inning of Game 1 of the day's doubleheader.
Despite letting up a single to pinch-hitter Aledmys Diaz after Martin Maldonado grounded out, Hendriks got the last two batters - George Springer and Alex Bregman - to strike out swinging, confirming a 4-2 win to the Athletics.
The 31-year-old picked up a win in his third game of the week, his third win of the season, when he entered the top of the ninth on Wednesday, 9 September against Houston.
Hendriks needed to face just three batters to get Oakland into a position to try and take the game at the bottom half of the inning, and did so with strikeouts to Michael Brantley and Kyle Tucker, among a ground out from Yuri Gurriel.
Oakland tied the scores at two-all as the seventh inning was completed. The bottom of the ninth started with the first two batters getting on base, Sean Murphy walked and Tony Kemp hit by a pitch.
A couple of outs soon followed, but the runners were able to advance, pinch-runner Stephen Piscotty tagged out before reaching home the second out for the A's.
Ramon Laureano singled to centrefield, allowing Marcus Semien to score and the Athletics to claim a 3-2 walk-off win.
The closer returned to the mound on Thursday, 10 September to record his 12th save of the season - tied with Cleveland's Brad Hand.
Despite initially being down a run, Oakland recorded a 3-1 win against the Astros, Hendriks facing just three batters to get the result - a strikeout for Martin Maldonado, and consecutive line outs, each to centrefield from George Springer and Alex Bregman.
Hendriks' ERA sits at 1.33, slightly up from the past week.
The game today was Hendriks' third day of pitching in a row, the third time he's done so through his career while Oakland are now 20-0 in games where Hendriks has pitched.
Oakland have taken a six-and-a -half-game lead at the top of their division with a 27-15 record. It's the A's largest lead division since Wednesday, 25 September, 2013.
Oakland begin a four-game series on the road against Texas across the weekend before turning their attention to series against Seattle and Colorado next week.
Follow Oakland’s season on the official MLB website here.
Thorpe hasn't seen gametime for Minnesota since being recalled from the alternate training site for game one of a doubleheader against Detroit on Saturday, 29 August.
The left-handed pitcher was the 29th player for the day's play and was sent back at the conclusion of game two when the squad needed to be cut to 28.
Throughout the season, Thorpe has appeared in seven games, including one start on Monday, 3 August.
From 16.1 innings pitched, he's given up 24 hits for 11 earned runs for an ERA of 6.06, with 10 strikeouts after starting the season giving up zero runs in 4.2 innings across his first two games.
Overall, the Twins sit in second in the American League Central division with a 27-18 record. In the previous week, Minnesota took a 4-1 series win against Detroit before splitting the series one-all against St Louis.
Minnesota will take on Cleveland in a three-game series before a four-game series against the White Sox, ending the week by remaining in Chicago for a meeting with the Cubs.
For up-to-date schedules, scores and live action from the Twins, visit the official MLB website here.
MLB ON KAYO
If you’re wondering where to watch MLB, Kayo has you covered with some of the biggest games streamed live each week. In addition to MLB Strikezone showings, the Australian sports streaming service has the following lineup for games this next week:
Click HERE to check out Kayo and follow along with the MLB action live.
New to Kayo? Sign up for a free 14-day trial HERE.
Baseball Western Australia
Corner Nicholson and Wilfred Roads, Thornlie WA 6108
PO Box 1489, Canning Vale DC WA 6970
Phone: 1300 557 353