It’s been quite a night and quite a month for Coco Crisp. After receiving the Catfish Hunter Award earlier today, Crisp drilled a go-ahead, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Oakland Athletics an 8-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
With a runner on first and one out in a tied ball game, Crisp drilled one to right field for his 21st home run of the season, saving the bullpen, which was awfully shaky tonight for the A’s.
The Twins took the lead in the sixth inning in this seesaw affair. After allowing two baserunners, starter Dan Straily was removed from the game and replaced by Dan Otero. Straily went 5.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) and three walks, striking out six in 105 pitches. The A’s bullpen of Otero and Brett Anderson allowed the game-tying run, then, despite a great defensive play by Josh Donaldson to keep the ball from going into the outfield with the bases loaded, Pedro Florimon’s infield single knocked in another run.
But the A’s put up a crooked number in the bottom half of the inning on the strength of home runs from Alberto Callaspo and Jed Lowrie. Down by a run going into the inning, Callaspo hit a solo shot with two outs to tie the game. Then, after singles by Coco Crisp and Josh Donaldson, Lowrie stroked a fastball over the right field wall for a three-run homer, giving the A’s a 6-3 lead.
However, the Twins came right back. A solo homer in the seventh by Oswaldo Arcia cut the lead to 6-4, then two more runs in the eighth tied the game. Ryan Cook’s struggles continued, as he allowed the first two runners to reach base, with one of them scoring on a force out by Chris Hermann. Hermann then scored on a single by Brian Dozier after Jesse Chavez entered for Cook, tying the game at 6-6.
The A’s got their first runs in the fourth. Down by a run, Josh Reddick hit a shot into the left center field gap that rolled past Josh Willingham’s glove, allowing Brandon Moss to score all the way from first. A sacrifice fly by Stephen Vogt gave the A’s a 2-1 lead at that point.
Oakland now has its 90th win of the season, and its magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now at four.