Play Fantasy The Most Award Winning Fantasy game with real time scoring, top expert analysis, custom settings, and more. Play Now
  • My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NFL
  • NCAA FB
  • Tennis

Minnesota at Oakland

Scoreboard
Minnesota (75-59)000001100250
Oakland (62-72) «000101001381

Suzuki's walk-off double hurts Twins, gives A's rare back-to-back W's

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Frank Thomas got a chuckle out of the realization his Oakland Athletics had finally strung consecutive wins together. It had been too long ago to remember the last time.

"That's what we were laughing about: two in a row, whoo!" the Big Hurt said. "Three out of four, whoo!"

Pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki doubled in the winning run with one out in the ninth inning and the A's beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 on Thursday night to win back-to-back games for first time since July 10-11.

"I was just kind of looking in one zone for a pitch to hit," Suzuki said. "You always want to be in that spot to be able to drive in the winning run. Any time you can get a hit like that it's fun."

Joey Devine (4-0) pitched the eighth to pick up the victory for the A's, who went 40 games without a winning streak. Suzuki's double marked Oakland's ninth walkoff hit of the season and only the 11th victory since the All-Star break for the hapless A's.

"That's how you get on a roll," Thomas said. "We've been through some tough times the last month and a half. We didn't play well or swing the bat well. That's part of it. Tonight we got some big hits. That's contagious. When everybody is struggling at the same time, that's contagious, too."

Ryan Sweeney led off the ninth with a single off loser Craig Breslow (0-2), then moved to second on Daric Barton's sacrifice. Suzuki hit a 3-1 pitch from Jesse Crain off the wall in left-center.

"I know he's always going to give me a good at-bat and that's all you can ask for when a guy comes off the bench cold," A's manager Bob Geren said. "He's had success this year and confidence grows from that."

Barton hit a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth for the A's only to see Nick Punto tie it in the top of the seventh with an RBI single.

On this night, there were no calls close enough for the umpire crew to head to the replay booth on the first night instant replay was available in baseball -- and the Coliseum isn't known for many debatable home runs anyway.

The Twins, who snapped a four-game skid by winning Wednesday at Seattle to avoid a sweep at Safeco Field, had runners aboard in all but the second and eighth innings but were hurt by four double plays. They missed a chance to pull within a half-game of the idle and first-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central and 1½ of Boston for the wild card.

Minnesota loaded the bases in the sixth against A's starter Dana Eveland, getting a double steal by Denard Span and Alexi Casilla. Justin Morneau tied the game with a sacrifice fly.

Thomas scored Oakland's first run in the fourth on a double play after hitting a leadoff double against Twins starter Nick Blackburn, who saw his winless stretch reach four starts. Minnesota continued a grueling 15-day, 14-game road trip, the Twins' longest since the 1969 season.

"We're on a long road trip and we've been battling things a lot ourselves, so we're just trying to figure out how to do a little better job on the road trip," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We know what happens here with us and the A's. It's always a battle. It's always good baseball -- two teams that play the game the right way, hustle, bust their tails."

Bobby Crosby's two-out single in the third was career hit No. 500 for the Oakland shortstop, but neither team did much of note offensively.

The A's had a rare bit of momentum coming into this four-game series, Oakland's lone stretch at home over seven series from Aug. 18 to Sept. 10. The team took two of three against the Angels in Los Angeles to start the week for their first series victory in 13 tries. The 12 winless series was the second longest in Oakland history.

The A's have scored six or fewer runs in 34 consecutive games.

Notes

  • The A's activated Sweeney from the 15-day DL and started him in RF. Sweeney had been out with a sprained right thumb since Aug. 13 and went hitless in a one-game rehab assignment. He was also on the DL earlier this season with a bruised toe. Struggling OF Carlos Gonzalez was optioned to Triple-A Sacramento to make room for Sweeney.
  • Oakland leads the season series 4-3.
  • The Twins had won 10 of their previous 11 games against lefty starters.
  • Oakland 2B Mark Ellis missed his fifth consecutive start with a strained right shoulder but was encouraged because he had regained some range of motion. Ellis was named to Oakland's 40th anniversary team at his position.
  • Devine has not allowed an earned run in 12 appearances since coming off the disabled list Aug. 2.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Ryan Sweeney celebrates with Daric Barton after Sweeney scores the winning run in the ninth.  (AP)
Ryan Sweeney celebrates with Daric Barton after Sweeney scores the winning run in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Oakland

K. Suzuki
AB 1
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
Minnesota

J. Morneau
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Minnesota Twins
Denard Span, RF4110001 .308
Alexi Casilla, 2B4000011 .296
Joe Mauer, C3010110 .317
Justin Morneau, 1B3011002 .308
Randy Ruiz, DH3000013 .320
   a- Jason Kubel, PH-DH1000000 .273
Delmon Young, LF3110110 .282
Brendan Harris, 3B3000102 .260
Nick Punto, SS2011101 .293
Carlos Gomez, CF3000002 .253
Totals2925244  
a-grounded out for Ruiz in the 9th
Batting
2B - Justin Morneau (37, Eveland), Delmon Young (23, Eveland)
SF - Justin Morneau (8)
RBI - Justin Morneau (103), Nick Punto (25)
SB - Denard Span (13, 3rd base off Eveland/Bowen), Alexi Casilla (5, 2nd base off Eveland/Bowen), Nick Punto (9, 2nd base off Eveland/Bowen)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Casilla-Punto-Morneau
Minnesota Twins
Nick Blackburn 5.2622220 3.75
Dennys Reyes 1000020 2.39
Boof Bonser 1.1000020 6.14
Craig Breslow (L,0-2) 0.1111000 2.57
Jesse Crain0100100 3.98
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Blackburn 95-61, Dennys Reyes 10-7, Boof Bonser 13-8, Craig Breslow 3-3, Jesse Crain 12-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Blackburn 5-9, Craig Breslow 1-0
Batters Faced - Nick Blackburn 24, Dennys Reyes 3, Boof Bonser 4, Craig Breslow 2, Jesse Crain 2
Oakland Athletics
Rajai Davis, CF4010010 .250
Bobby Crosby, SS4120000 .249
Jack Cust, LF3000112 .226
Frank Thomas, DH4110013 .236
Ryan Sweeney, RF3120102 .291
Daric Barton, 1B3011000 .217
Jack Hannahan, 3B3000012 .222
   a- Emil Brown, PH0000100 .249
    Cliff Pennington, PR0000000 .154
Rob Bowen, C3000020 .171
   b- Kurt Suzuki, PH1011000 .284
Eric Patterson, 2B3000000 .213
Totals3138236  
a-walked for Hannahan in the 9th
b-doubled for Bowen in the 9th
Batting
2B - Bobby Crosby (35, Blackburn), Frank Thomas (7, Blackburn), Kurt Suzuki (21, Crain)
SH - Daric Barton (5)
RBI - Daric Barton (37), Kurt Suzuki (37)
2-OUT RBI - Daric Barton (17)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Crosby-Patterson, Patterson-Crosby-Barton, Crosby-Barton, Hannahan-Patterson-Barton
E - Eric Patterson (6, Misplayed grounder)
Oakland Athletics
Dana Eveland 7522320 4.21
Jerry Blevins 1000020 3.04
Joey Devine (W,4-0) 1000100 0.80
Pitches-Strikes - Dana Eveland 97-57, Jerry Blevins 11-8, Joey Devine 11-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dana Eveland 10-8, Joey Devine 2-0
Batters Faced - Dana Eveland 28, Jerry Blevins 3, Joey Devine 3
Game Information
Attendance - 12357
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Jerry Meals, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Paul Emmel