A's lose 5-4 to Twins: All-Star Break Sweep-Sandwhich

Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics
Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Make that three-for-three and a sweep. The Athletics wrapped up the weekend series against the Twins falling 5-4 and losing their seventh consecutive game in a skid that started way before the All-Star break and has no signs of ending any time soon.

Oakland lost to Minny by a single run, but that doesn't matter that much. The A's are now 25-70 on the year with 95 games played and 67 to go. They are on pace to finish the season with a 43-119 record if you're optimistic, and an all-time worst 42-120 if you're not. Such is Oakland's baseball these days.

With bad news piling up daily, it made sense to find out just minutes before the first pitch on Sunday that outfielder Brent Rooker was going to miss the final matchup of the series, getting canned and forcing A's skipper Mark Kotsay to throw Tony Kemp (initially expected to have a day off) into left field.

It was Diaz Day in Oakland, though, with both Aledmys and Jordan getting important hits on the day for the losing A's.

Jordan was the first one to get his name attached to the game log on Sunday. With the match still tied and the scoreboard flashing zeroes, Diaz hit a solo homer off Twins starter Joe Ryan to put the A's one run up and give them their only lead of the day.

Things would get even better-looking for the hosts, as Aledmys was able to connect for a double in the bottom of the 4th bringing JJ Bleday home and advancing rookie Tyler Soderstrom to third base. Right after that hit, per MLB.com, Oakland had a win probability of 87.2% while leading 3-0 and slightly over half a game to go.

Uh, oh.

Almost nothing good happened to the A's from that point on. Christian Vazquez homered off Oakland's starter JP Sears when the hurler had put one out in the fifth inning, Alex Kirilloff followed that up with another banger, and all of a sudden the Twins were just one run short of tying the ballgame.

Sears pitched into the seventh frame removing 19 batters, including Willi Castro in his last inning out on the mound. All things considered, Sears didn't put on an atrocious show. He allowed three runs on four hits, yes, but he gave up no free bases and he stroke out seven men on the day.

Lucas Erceg, the man replacing Sears, was much worse as he got charged the loss and a blown save after getting into the game with one out in the seventh. He didn't retire a single Twin, allowed two runs on two hits, and walked two more men on top of everything.

Erceg was so bad, in fact, that Kotsay removed him in the same frame after he allowed Carlos Correa to walk with the Twins already up 5-3 on the scoreboard in what would become the final score.

Freshmen Zack Gelof and Tyler Soderstrom proved their readiness for The Show once more and for the third day in a row.

Gelof batted second and went 2-for-4 (including a double) at the plate scoring one run and getting one RBI while striking out once. Soderstrom, who started at first base on Sunday after doing so in the DH slot (Friday) and behind the plate (Saturday), went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Shintaro Fujinami and Sam Long were the last men out of Oakland's bullpen, pitching a combined 2.2 innings and allowing no hits while only walking one man between them and striking out two.

The A's will try to break out of their never-ending slump by hosting the Boston Red Sox next. If you remember, the A's and the Sox faced each other in their last series before the All-Star break with Boston sweeping Oakland 3-0 at Fenway starting 10 days ago. Fingers crossed.

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