Oakland at Minnesota

A's spoil Twins' home opener

CBSSports.com wire reports

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Oakland Athletics can win a lot of different ways, as evidenced by their two-year hold on the AL West division title.

Yoenis Cespedes proved he can play through a hurting right heel, giving Scott Kazmir and the A's a spark with a pair of RBI that helped spoil the Minnesota Twins' home opener with an 8-3 victory on Monday.

''When we're swinging well, we feel like we have a deep lineup,'' A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Cespedes has been hobbling around the last few days with the injury, but the team wasn't worried enough about it to hold him out. The Cuban slugger followed a leadoff walk to Brandon Moss by crushing a double in the second inning for the first run against Kevin Correia (0-1) and hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

Moss added a two-run single in the third and Derek Norris homered in the sixth.

''Everyone knows their strengths and they don't go outside of their game, and I think that's what makes us a great overall ballclub and very deadly down the stretch of the whole season,'' Norris said.

Jed Lowrie hit what the A's believed was a home run down the right-field line in the third inning, but the call on the field was a foul ball and the umpire-initiated review, which lasted more than four minutes, upheld the ruling. Lowrie took a walk instead and later scored.

Kazmir (2-0), who stymied with Twins in five starts against them last season for Cleveland, completed six innings with six hits, three runs and four walks allowed. He struck out five, and RBI doubles by Aaron Hicks and Jason Kubel were the only damaging hits against him. This wasn't his best, but Kazmir got enough quick outs to stay in there.

''Not very efficient with my pitches, but there's going to be days like that so I need to be able to battle. To get six out of that, that's something you can build on,'' he said.

The 30-year-old Kazmir dazzled in his A's debut with 7 1/3 scoreless innings last week against his old team, the Indians. He did the same against the Twins in 2013, going 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA in 31 innings with 36 strikeouts.

With Jarrod Parker, a 12-game winner last year, out for the season following elbow ligament replacement surgery and A.J. Griffin not yet ready because of a spring arm injury, the rotation took a hit. Kazmir, then, is that much more valuable.

Oh, and so is the lineup.

''All the way through, guys are taking quality at-bats and really working the starting pitcher early in the game. That goes a long way as far as getting the win,'' Kazmir said.

Correia came out with two outs in the sixth. He yielded nine hits, six runs and two walks while striking out three.

''He started pounding inside a bit better and his last couple innings were better because of that,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''But you can't just stay out and over the plate on these guys.''

Alberto Callaspo and Josh Reddick also drove in runs for the A's, who played without center fielder Coco Crisp because of a sore left wrist. Norris, Callaspo and Josh Donaldson each had two hits.

''I just threw a couple bad pitches in situations where I had a chance to get out of a jam,'' Correia said. ''That's what I've been able to do the last couple years.''


Lowrie was hit by a pitch on the lower right leg in the seventh inning and was in too much pain to stay in the game. Nick Punto, who played seven seasons for the Twins, entered as a pinch runner and eventually scored on a balk by Sam Deduno. ... The Athletics made a bullpen shuffle before the game, reinstating RH Ryan Cook from the disabled list and sending RH Evan Scribner to Triple-A Sacramento. Cook, who was out with shoulder tendinitis, struck out two in a hitless ninth. ... Attendance was announced at 35,837, more than 3,000 below official capacity. .... The Twins had left fielder Josh Willingham (left wrist) and right fielder Oswaldo Arcia (right wrist) both out of the lineup. ... The three-game series resumes on Wednesday afternoon, with RH Jesse Chavez (0-0, 1.50 ERA) pitching for the A's against Twins RH Phil Hughes (0-0, 7.20 ERA).

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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Oakland Athletics
Sam Fuld, CF5000012 .222
Jed Lowrie, SS2100101 .286
   Nick Punto, PR-SS0100100 .200
Josh Donaldson, 3B5220021 .161
Brandon Moss, 1B4212112 .320
Yoenis Cespedes, LF3112001 .231
Alberto Callaspo, DH4021000 .444
Josh Reddick, RF4011011 .125
Derek Norris, C4121022 .417
Eric Sogard, 2B4010003 .286
Scott Kazmir, P0000000 .000
   Fernando Abad, P0000000 .000
   Dan Otero, P0000000 .000
   Ryan Cook, P0000000 .000
2B - Josh Donaldson (1, Correia), Yoenis Cespedes (2, Correia), Alberto Callaspo (1, Correia)
HR - Derek Norris (1, Correia)
SF - Yoenis Cespedes (1)
RBI - Brandon Moss 2 (7), Yoenis Cespedes 2 (6), Alberto Callaspo (3), Josh Reddick (1), Derek Norris (1)
2-OUT RBI - Alberto Callaspo (1), Derek Norris (1)
Team LOB - 5
Oakland Athletics
Scott Kazmir (W,2-0) 6633450 2.03
Fernando Abad 1000110 0.00
Dan Otero 1000010 3.38
Ryan Cook 1000220 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 101-62, Fernando Abad 21-11, Dan Otero 10-7, Ryan Cook 21-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 6-7, Fernando Abad 2-0, Dan Otero 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 28, Fernando Abad 4, Dan Otero 3, Ryan Cook 5
Minnesota Twins
Brian Dozier, 2B4000112 .143
Joe Mauer, 1B3000222 .250
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4110113 .370
Chris Colabello, RF4110122 .370
Josmil Pinto, DH3000114 .167
Jason Kubel, LF4011001 .381
Kurt Suzuki, C4111000 .389
Aaron Hicks, CF4011011 .200
Pedro Florimon, SS3010110 .100
Kevin Correia, P0000000 .000
   Samuel Deduno, P0000000 .000
2B - Jason Kubel (4, Kazmir), Aaron Hicks (2, Kazmir)
RBI - Jason Kubel (5), Kurt Suzuki (6), Aaron Hicks (2)
SB - Pedro Florimon (2, 2nd base off Kazmir/Norris)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Chris Colabello 1
DP - Colabello-Florimon
Minnesota Twins
Kevin Correia (L,0-1) 5.2966231 6.17
Samuel Deduno 3.1122140 5.40
HBP - Lowrie (by Samuel Deduno)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Correia 97-59, Samuel Deduno 54-36
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Correia 5-8, Samuel Deduno 2-4
Batters Faced - Kevin Correia 27, Samuel Deduno 13
Game Information
Attendance - 35837
Game Time - 3:05
Temperature - 58
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Victor Carapazza, Second Base - Adam Hamari, Third Base - Greg Gibson