MLB: A's clip Twins
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jesse Chavez pitched into the eighth inning and Tyler Clippard got five big outs to earn the save Tuesday as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Minnesota Twins 2-1.
MINNEAPOLIS - Jesse Chavez pitched into the eighth inning and Tyler Clippard got five big outs to earn the save Tuesday as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Minnesota Twins 2-1.
Chavez (1-2) struck out seven without allowing an earned run in 7 1/3 innings in his third start of the season. He cruised through seven innings before his defense betrayed him in the eighth. Jordan Schafer laced a one-out single to left, and Danny Santana followed with a ground ball to first base. A’s first baseman Ike Davis fielded it cleanly, with a steady drizzle falling, he flung the wet ball into left field while trying to retire the lead runner. Schafer advanced to third on the play and Chavez was replaced by reliever Evan Scribner.
Brian Dozier followed with a broken-bat single to center to drive in Schafer. Santana was running with the pitch and scampered to third base as the tying run. A’s manager Bob Melvin then turned to his closer, Clippard, who struck out Torii Hunter and retired Joe Mauer on a fly ball to left to end the threat.
Clippard then retired the Twins in order in the ninth inning to earn his third save in four opportunities.
Twins starter Trevor May (2-2) turned in a solid start but was done in by a rising pitch count. May had held the A’s to one run over 5 2/3 innings, but when he walked Stephen Vogt with his 101st pitch, manager Paul Molitor went to his bullpen. Reliever Brian Duensing promptly allowed singles to Davis and Brett Lawrie to put Oakland on top 2-0.
The A’s got on the board in the top of the first with a little bit of speed and a little bit of good fortune. Billy Burns led off the game with a single and promptly stole second base. It appeared he would be stranded there when the next two hitters flied out and designated hitter Billy Butler skied a foul ball down the right field line.
Twins right fielder Torii Hunter made a running catch, but the ball popped out as he collided with the wall. Given new life, Butler delivered Burns with a crisp single to right two pitches later and the A’s led 1-0.
NOTES: Twins manager Paul Molitor said he didn’t put rookie Eddie Rosario in the starting lineup in part because of the team’s recent success. The Twins scored 31 runs in a four-game weekend sweep of the Chicago White Sox, then scored eight more in beating the Oakland A’s on Monday. “I think a lot of times when a guy comes up you’d like to get him in there as quickly as you possibly can to kinda get his feet wet,” Molitor said. “But I like the way the lineup looked last night.” ... The Twins are looking for their first six-game winning streak in four years. Minnesota won eight in a row from June 11 to June 21, 2011. ... A’s manager Bob Melvin said All-Star closer Sean Doolittle, who has not pitched yet this season because of a strained left rotator cuff, threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session at Target Field on Tuesday. “Probably for the first time he went after it 100 percent, or as much as you can do in a bullpen,” said Melvin, who added that the next time Doolittle throws it could be against hitters. ... The A’s released outfielder Cody Ross on Tuesday. Ross, who appeared in nine games for Oakland, was designated for assignment on May 2.