Two replay reviews—each involving the same player—going against them in the ninth, their All-Star closer blowing second save in three chances, a benches-clearing incident flaring in the 10th inning and a three-run homer in the top of the 11th to gain a road win after blowing a 4-0 lead.
Yep. Just another day in the life of the Oakland Athletics.
Derek Norris clouted a three-run homer in the top of the 11th inning to lift the A’s to a 7-4 win over the Minnesota Twins Tuesday at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The A’s came out on the short end of two video review in the bottom of the ninth, however, as closer Jim Johnson was in the process of coughing up a two-run lead.
Kurt Suzuki was called safe at third base on a bases-loaded blooper by Eduardo Escobar that dropped just in front of Yoenis Cespedes in left field. Cespedes made a quick throw to Josh Donaldson at third base, but Suzuki was ruled to have beaten out the force play.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin challenged the ruling, but it was allowed to stand. That made the score 4-3 and left the bases loaded.
On the next play, Brian Dozier of the Twins flew out to right field. Josh Reddick got behind the ball and made a terrific throw to Norris at the plate, who tagged Suzuki—who was originally ruled to have gotten his hand in before the tag. A video replay confirmed the ruling.
In the 10th, Josh Donaldson struck out to end the top of the inning, just after crushing a pitch down the line in left just foul. After Glen Perkins struck Donaldson out, Perkins appeared to take issue with how Donaldson had admired his long blast. Perkins barked at Donaldson, who barked back and the benched emptied before cooler heads prevailed, with both benches being issued a warning.
In the top of the 11th off new Minnesota pitcher Jared Burton (0-1), Daric Barton led off with a walk and one out later, Albert Callaspo singled to left. Norris laid into a 2-1 changeup and sent it over the wall in left-center to give Oakland a 7-4 lead.
The A’s got off to a fast start, lighting up Twins starter Phil Hughes for four runs in the top of the first.
Sam Fuld and Jed Lowrie worked back-to-back walks to start the game and Donaldson laced a double to center to score Fuld. With runners at second and third, Brandon Moss flared a soft liner to left to get both runners home and make it a 3-0 game.
Cespedes ripped a double to left and Callaspo singled to left to make it 4-0.
Hughes settled in after that and wound up working five innings, allowing just one more hit.
After Kubel hit his first homer of the year off Chavez in the bottom of the second, the score remained 4-1 for quite awhile.
Dozier smacked a one-out solo homer off Sean Doolittle in the eighth to get the Twins (3-5) to within 4-2.
Johnson came on in the ninth and allowed a single to Kubel and walked Suzuki before Chris Herrmann popped up a bunt. Johnson walked Hicks to load the bases before Escobar’s bloop single.
Dozier’s sacrifice fly followed after Dan Otero came on to try to clean up Johnson’s mess and the game went to extras.
Otero (1-0) worked the final 2.2 innings, allowing three hits and walking two with one strikeout. Luke Gregerson got the final two outs of the eighth after Doolittle gave up a homer and a single.
The A’s finished the day with seven hits. Donaldson was 2-for-5 and Callaspo went 2-for-4. The win was Oakland’s eighth in a row over the Twins.
The A’s will try to close out the road sweep on Thursday at 10:10 a.m. Pacific, with Dan Straily (0-1, 4.50 ERA) scheduled to start. Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 5.06 ERA) is the scheduled starter for Minnesota.
Tags: Oakland Athletics