MLB: Twins, Hunter outslug Oakland
MINNEAPOLIS -- Torii Hunter's three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning broke a tie game and lifted the Minnesota Twins to an 8-7 win over the Oakland Athletics at Target Field on Monday.
MINNEAPOLIS - Torii Hunter’s three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning broke a tie game and lifted the Minnesota Twins to an 8-7 win over the Oakland Athletics at Target Field on Monday.
It was the fifth consecutive win for the Twins (14-12).
With the game tied at 5-5 and two outs, Hunter blasted a 1-0 fastball from Oakland reliever R.J. Alvarez just inside the left-field foul pole for his third home run of the season, giving the Twins an 8-5 lead.
Minnesota center fielder Jordan Schafer had three hits and a brilliant diving catch to end the top of the eighth inning, saving a sure run that would have made it a one-run game.
Twins righty Phil Hughes overcame a four-run first inning to earn the win, allowing five runs on nine hits and a pair of walks in six innings. It was the first win of the season for Hughes (1-4), who had 16 a year ago.
Closer Glen Perkins allowed one run in the ninth but fanned left fielder Craig Gentry with the tying run on second base for his ninth save.
Athletics catcher Stephen Vogt finished with three hits and five RBIs for Oakland.
Right-hander Jesse Hahn took the loss, allowing six runs on 10 hits in five-plus innings.
Oakland scored four runs in the top of the first inning off Hughes, loading the bases for Vogt, who blasted a 0-1 pitch 387 feet over the wall in right field for his first career grand slam.
For Vogt, who homered twice in a 7-1 win at Texas on Sunday, it was his third consecutive at-bat with a homer.
Minnesota put together a four-run inning of its own in the second to tie the game.
Four consecutive one-out hits, including RBI singles by Schafer and shortstop Danny Santana, made it 4-2.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier tied the game on a double to deep left that left fielder Mark Canha couldn’t handle, scoring Schafer and Santana.
Canha gave the Athletics a 5-4 lead with a solo blast in the sixth inning off Hughes.
NOTES: Oakland OF Josh Reddick was named the co-American League Player of the Week on Monday. Reddick hit .478 with three homers, 12 RBIs and eight runs scored last week. ... Athletics LHP Eric O’Flaherty’s MRI revealed no structural damage to his throwing shoulder. O’Flaherty was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with a left shoulder strain. ... Twins OF Oswaldo Arcia was placed on the DL with a right hip flexor strain. ... The Athletics and Twins will play the second of a four-game series at Target Field on Tuesday. Oakland LHP Jesse Chavez (0-2, 2.55 ERA) will oppose Minnesota RHP Trevor May (2-1, 4.43 ERA).