OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Seth Brown hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning, Sean Murphy followed with a two-run single and the Oakland Athletics ended their four-game losing streak against the Twins, beating Minnesota 5-2 on Tuesday night.
Kevin Smith homered to end a long slump and help Oakland break out of its own offensive funk. The A’s went into the game with the lowest team batting average in the majors (.199) and had scored one run in each of their three previous games.
Royce Lewis and Gary Sánchez each hit solo home runs for the Twins.
With the score tied 2-all, Jed Lowrie drew a walk and Ramón Laureano was hit by a pitch from Josh Winder (2-2). After Brown doubled over the head of right fielder Max Kepler to score pinch-runner Christian Bethancourt, Murphy blooped a hit into short left-center to drive in Laureano and Brown.
The win prevented the Twins from securing their first series win in Oakland since 2011. Minnesota had won all four previous games between the two this season.
Zach Jackson (1-1) retired four batters for his first career win. Dany Jiménez got a pair of fly outs to end the eighth with two on, then worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save.
Smith’s second home run of the season put the A’s ahead 2-0 and ended an 0-for-18 skid.
Minnesota cut the lead in half on Royce’s leadoff drive off James Kaprielian in the fifth then tied it on Sánchez’s third home run in five games in the sixth.
Kaprielian had six strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
BABY STEPS FOR BUNDAY
Twins starter Dylan Bundy came off the COVID-19 list before the game and threw 54 pitches in three innings. Bundy had two walks and three strikeouts, including a 10-pitch whiff of Smith who went down looking after fouling off four consecutive pitches.
The Twins’ RHP Jharel Cotton was designated for assignment to make room for Bundy on the 26-man roster. Cotton spent his first two seasons in the major leagues with the A’s, then played for the Rangers one year before signing with Minnesota as a free agent.
Twins: Manager Rocco Baldelli indicated that SS Carlos Correa could come off the 10-day Injured List on Wednesday. Correa has missed the past 10 games because of a right middle finger contusion. … CF Byron Buxton was given the night off as part of Minnesota’s plan to manage his playing time while dealing with knee and hip issues.
Twins RHP Sonny Gray (0-1, 3.68 ERA) goes for his first win in four career starts against his former club. Gray won 44 games over five seasons with the A’s. RHP Daulton Jefferies (1-6, 4.84) has lost six consecutive starts, tied for the fourth-longest skid in Oakland history.
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