The Oakland Athletics are a Jekkyl and Hyde story in baseball. They snapped a three-game losing streak Tuesday and were looking to make it a two-game winning streak Wednesday. Also, it was another dull matchup between the A’s and Twins. But the worst team in baseball destroyed a fourth-place team.
Wednesday’s game was paused due to a lengthy rain delay at Target Field. Some Oakland Athletics fans thought the game would be postponed, but that was not the case (and I’m sure the majority of sports reporters breathed a sigh of relief because I did). The A’s have had a rough trip with its starting rotation and it definitely showed tonight.
Sean Manaea helped the A’s to their third straight win against the San Francisco Giants, working 5 2/3 scoreless innings. However, Manaea took a loss in Game 2. A tough loss, that is. But you win some, you lose some. It might just be a bad day for Manaea. Twins left-hander Tommy Milone picked up his first win of the season.
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The A’s took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second, as Marcus Semien hit a solo homer to left for his 18th home run of the season. Then, Kurt Suzuki grounded out softly towards Billy Butler to Manaea to score Kenny Vargas, tying the game, 1-1, in the bottom of the second. The A’s blew a lead and fell apart (which wasn’t an understatement).
Suzuki hit a groundball single to left and Max Kepler scored to put the Twins ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Byron Buxton doubled on a line drive to left, driving in Suzuki to score for a 3-1 lead. Simply put, Minnesota continued to pour in the runs. Two homers from Kennys Vargas and Kepler expanded the lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
There wasn’t much the A’s could do to rally, tie the ballgame and force extra innings. Robbie Grossman drove in Buxton with a single to left. The Twins had one run on two hits. They led 7-1 in the bottom of the sixth. Oakland’s late efforts didn’t work very well. Danny Valencia‘s solo shot to right went over the fence and went back in, bringing the A’s within three.
The Twins extended their lead to 8-4 as Eduardo Nunez‘s two-out single scored Suzuki in the bottom of the eighth. The A’s might’ve had a chance, but Minnesota changed the ending. Miguel Sano‘s three-run blasted accounted for his 13th homer of the season and the Twins expanded their lead to 11-4 in the bottom of the eighth. They’re the worst team in baseball, but their bats were hot unlike Oakland.
It was a long night in the ballpark, but the final score was 11-4 Twins. With the win, Minnesota tied the series at one apiece. The rubber game is Wednesday at 10:10 am PT on CSN California. A’s ace Sonny Gray (3-7) will face Twins’ right-hander Ervin Santana (2-7).