Minnesota at Oakland

W: S. Doolittle (5-5) L: S. Martis (0-1)
HR: MIN - O. Arcia (13)   OAK - A. Callaspo (8),J. Lowrie (13),C. Crisp (21)

Crisp's late HR boosts A's, magic number cut to four

CBSSports.com wire reports

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Coco Crisp will never call himself a home run hitter. He is just a versatile leadoff man who happens to have 21 home runs for the Oakland Athletics.

Plenty of important ones at that. His latest moved the A's one step closer to another AL West title.

Crisp connected for a go-ahead two-run drive in the eighth inning, and the Athletics lowered their magic number to clinch the division to four with a back-and-forth 8-6 victory against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.

"You can't focus on one guy because everybody has that potential," Crisp said. "We definitely have a lot of threats in our lineup and it takes a lot of pressure off one guy to be a run producer."

Brian Dozier hit a tying RBI single in the top half of the eighth, then Oakland rallied once more just as this club has done so many times the past two seasons. Crisp connected for his 21st home run on a 2-1 pitch from Shairon Martis (0-1).

Jed Lowrie's three-run homer put the A's ahead 6-3 in the sixth after pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo tied it with a solo shot, but the bullpen couldn't hold the lead.

Sean Doolittle (5-5) recorded the final four outs for the victory to end the 3-hour, 41-minute game in front of only 11,461 fans.

Crisp's 21 leadoff home runs are tied for most in the majors.

"That was awesome," pitcher Dan Straily said. "It was clutch. He's been doing that for us all season."

Callaspo's two-out drive was his second career pinch-hit home run, his eighth clout this season and third since joining Oakland before the trade deadline. Crisp then came through with a single to chase Brian Duensing (6-3), then Lowrie followed Josh Donaldson's single with his 13th home run.

Stephen Vogt hit a sacrifice fly and Josh Reddick had an RBI double for the A's, who remained 6½ games ahead of Texas in the division race after the Rangers won 8-2 at Tampa Bay.

"I know we're close," Crisp said. "We've got to keep the same philosophy. Hopefully we can get there and win this division."

Oswaldo Arcia hit a home run in the seventh for the Twins, who lost for the seventh time in nine games that included dropping two of three to the A's at home last week. But Minnesota is holding out hope catcher Joe Mauer will recover from his concussion in time to play again before the season ends.

"They kept coming up with the big hits and getting the lead," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We kept coming back and finally we got lead, and they jumped us again. Not only did they jump us, they hit them in the seats. If we could have kept them in the ballpark we might have had a better opportunity to win it. It seemed like everyone we brought gave up home runs tonight, and that hasn't been the norm."

Straily had his four-start winning streak snapped but remains unbeaten in six starts since dropping a 7-1 decision to Cleveland on Aug. 17. Straily still received a warm ovation when he exited in the sixth.

Minnesota loaded the bases with one out in the fifth but Straily worked out of it.

The Twins took a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the third. Chris Parmelee beat out an infield single leading off the inning but shortstop Lowrie's wild throw trying to make the play sailed into the dugout as Parmelee advanced. He then beat a throw home on Alex Presley's RBI groundout.

In the sixth, Straily threw two wild pitches that allowed Arcia to go from first to second and then to third. Josh Willingham drew a two-out walk and A's manager Bob Melvin went to the bullpen. Dan Otero relieved and gave up Yosmil Pinto's tying single and walked Parmelee to load the bases.

Pedro Floriman followed with a go-ahead single against Brett Anderson.

After Wednesday game, A's left fielder Yoenis Cespedes received a cortisone injection to help alleviate the pain from tendinitis in his right shoulder. He was out of the lineup Thursday but doing well and Melvin hoped he would play Friday night.

Gardenhire remains at 997 wins as he tries to become the eighth active manager with 1,000 victories


Minnesota 3B Trevor Plouffe left the game with left wrist soreness. ... Crisp received the 2013 Jim "Catfish" Hunter Award honoring the courageous nature and spirit of the late Hall of Famer. "That caught me by surprise, but I am grateful for the award," Crisp said. ... Oakland C John Jaso, sidelined from a concussion since July 25, is still hitting on the field for a couple of days and will be re-evaluated this weekend. Then, the tentative plan is to send him to Arizona for some at-bats in instructional league to see if he might be able to return to the A's before the season ends. "It'll be cool to be back out on the field and have cleats on again," he said.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

C. Crisp
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1

O. Arcia
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1

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Minnesota Twins
Alex Presley, CF4001116 .271
Brian Dozier, 2B5011014 .243
Trevor Plouffe, 3B5000032 .249
   Eduardo Escobar, 3B0000000 .215
Oswaldo Arcia, RF5221022 .251
Ryan Doumit, DH5010021 .241
Josh Willingham, LF3100211 .210
Josmil Pinto, C5121002 .360
Chris Parmelee, 1B3130100 .232
   Doug Bernier, PR-SS0000000 .231
Pedro Florimon, SS2011101 .226
   a-Chris Herrmann, PH1101000 .216
   Chris Colabello, 1B0000000 .196
Kevin Correia, P0000000 .000
   Brian Duensing, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Swarzak, P0000000 .000
   Caleb Thielbar, P0000000 .000
   Shairon Martis, P0000000 .000
a-hit into fielder's choice for Florimon in the 8th
HR - Oswaldo Arcia (13, Anderson)
RBI - Alex Presley (12), Brian Dozier (63), Oswaldo Arcia (37), Josmil Pinto (8), Pedro Florimon (41), Chris Herrmann (18)
2-OUT RBI - Oswaldo Arcia (21), Josmil Pinto (4), Pedro Florimon (17)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Oswaldo Arcia 1
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Correia 5622510 4.29
Brian Duensing (BS,3) 0.2222011 4.08
Anthony Swarzak 0222001 3.01
Caleb Thielbar 0.2000000 1.93
Shairon Martis (L,0-1) 1.2122111 5.06
WP - Kevin Correia (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 101-53, Brian Duensing 21-12, Anthony Swarzak 5-4, Caleb Thielbar 7-5, Shairon Martis 31-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 5-7, Shairon Martis 3-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 24, Brian Duensing 4, Anthony Swarzak 2, Caleb Thielbar 2, Shairon Martis 7
Oakland Athletics
Coco Crisp, CF4222100 .257
Josh Donaldson, 3B4120103 .304
Jed Lowrie, SS5113002 .285
Brandon Moss, LF3110101 .258
Josh Reddick, RF3111101 .216
Seth Smith, DH3020001 .249
   a-Michael Choice, PH-DH1000000 .273
Stephen Vogt, C1001011 .261
   b-Derek Norris, PH-C2000000 .238
Daric Barton, 1B2110211 .256
Eric Sogard, 2B2000001 .264
   c-Alberto Callaspo, PH-2B2111011 .251
Dan Straily, P0000000 .000
   Dan Otero, P0000000 .000
   Brett Anderson, P0000000 .000
   Ryan Cook, P0000000 .000
   Jesse Chavez, P0000000 .000
   Sean Doolittle, P0000000 .000
a-grounded out for Smith in the 7th
b-popped out for Vogt in the 6th
c-homered for Sogard in the 6th
2B - Brandon Moss (21, Correia), Josh Reddick (17, Correia), Daric Barton (1, Correia)
HR - Coco Crisp (21, Martis), Jed Lowrie (13, Swarzak), Alberto Callaspo (8, Duensing)
SF - Stephen Vogt (2)
RBI - Coco Crisp 2 (61), Jed Lowrie 3 (70), Josh Reddick (52), Stephen Vogt (15), Alberto Callaspo (49)
2-OUT RBI - Jed Lowrie 3 (24), Alberto Callaspo (31)
CS - Josh Reddick (1, 2nd base by Correia/Pinto)
Team LOB - 7
DP - Lowrie-Sogard-Barton
E - Josh Donaldson (16, Misplayed grounder), Jed Lowrie (18, Throwing)
Oakland Athletics
Dan Straily 5.2332360 4.08
Dan Otero (BS,1) 0100100 1.47
Brett Anderson 1.1311031 6.37
Ryan Cook (H,23) 0.1222100 2.69
Jesse Chavez (BS,1) 0.1100010 4.19
Sean Doolittle (W,5-5) 1.1000000 3.22
WP - Dan Straily 2 (7), Ryan Cook (7)
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Straily 105-66, Dan Otero 8-3, Brett Anderson 34-21, Ryan Cook 14-8, Jesse Chavez 7-5, Sean Doolittle 9-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Straily 5-7, Brett Anderson 1-0, Ryan Cook 1-0, Sean Doolittle 1-3
Batters Faced - Dan Straily 24, Dan Otero 2, Brett Anderson 7, Ryan Cook 4, Jesse Chavez 2, Sean Doolittle 4
Game Information
Attendance - 11461
Game Time - 3:41
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Tim McClelland