The Oakland Athletics visited the Minnesota Twins on Monday to begin a three-game series at Target Field. The A's were hoping to snap their three-game losing streak that came as a result of a sweep at home by the New York Yankees, but despite holding two separate leads in the game, Oakland came up short in a 5-4 loss.
The A's took a 2-0 lead on solo home runs -- their scoring method of choice -- by Josh Reddick in the first inning and Kila Ka`aihue in the third inning.
Trevor Plouffe finally got the Twins on the board in the fifth inning with a solo home run of his own, but the A's went ahead 3-1 in the top of the sixth when Reddick scored after a ledoff triple as Brandon Inge grounded into a double play. The Twins tied the game in the bottom of the sixth against Jordan Norberto on a Josh Willingham RBI double and a sacrifice fly by Justin Morneau.
Oakland reclaimed a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth with a Kurt Suzuki RBI single, but the Twins struck back in the bottom of the frame against A's reliever Ryan Cook. Morneau hit an RBI double to tie things up and Ryan Doumit hit a sacrifice fly to give the Twins the lead. The Twins elected to intentionally walk the bases loaded and pitch to Jonny Gomes. The gambit paid off, as Gomes struck out on three pitches to end the game.
The A's threatened in the top of the ninth against Matt Capps, getting runners on second and third with two outs for Reddick. Jemile Weeks and Reddick each had two-hit games, while Collin Cowgill went 3-for-4 on the day.
Travis Blackley was terrific in his first start for Oakland, giving up just one run on three hits and a walk in five innings of work, but the A's bullpen once again proved very vulnerable.