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Harden to start Game 4 for A's

Associated Press

Minneapolis — Oakland Athletics manager Ken Macha said Tuesday that right-hander Dan Haren will start Game 3 of the AL divisional series against Minnesota, followed by Canadian righty Rich Harden in Game 4.

Haren has been a horse for the A's this season, going 14-13 with a 4.12 ERA in 223 innings. The last time he faced the Twins, he threw eight shutout innings in the Metrodome on Sept. 13 for the A's only victory in Minnesota this season.

Harden is 4-0 with a 4.24 ERA in nine starts this season, but spent much of the season on the disabled list with a strained ligament in his right elbow before coming back to make three starts down the stretch.

He was shaky in his last start on Sunday against the Angels, issuing a season-high six walks and allowing three hits and six runs in 3 2-3 innings. He threw 91 pitches — only 44 for strikes.

Macha said Harden would throw on the side on Tuesday and Thursday.

"I thought he struggled with his release point," Macha said before Game 1 of the series against the Twins. "It was more of a mechanical thing than anything. He feels fine physically, so we thought with two sides that we would be able to get that straightened out."

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