Rajai Davis’ 2-run HR in 9th lifts A’s past Twins, 5-4
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Just to be clear, it wasn’t shaving cream that was on Rajai Davis’ face.
“It was actually whipped cream and it tastes good,” Davis said.
Everything was sweet for Davis and an Oakland Athletics team with a propensity for big hits even in a rebuilding year.
Davis hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to rally the Oakland Athletics to a 5-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night.
Davis’ fourth homer of the year capped a night in which he had four hits to break out of an 0-for-13 slump and helped give Oakland manager Bob Melvin his 1,000th career victory.
The A’s were tied for the American League lead with seven walk-off wins going into Saturday.
Davis game-ending RBI was the ninth of his career. His only other game-ending home run was on June 30, 2014, against the A’s when he was with the Blue Jays.
“I think this team is a resilient team that never quits, fighting to the last out, especially when we’re at home,” Davis said. “That’s what we did tonight.”
Davis’ home run off Taylor Rogers (5-3) came after Rogers walked pinch-hitter Adam Rosales leading off the inning.
Twins closer Brandon Kintzler was not available because he needed a rest day, manager Paul Molitor said.
“Those are tough,” Molitor said. “That’s three games this trip we haven’t been able to close out. It just goes to show you you can’t ever take for granted the value of outs late in games and people that can handle that.”
A’s reliever Daniel Coulombe (2-1) struck out two batters in a scoreless inning in the top of the ninth as Oakland snapped a six-game skid.
Ryon Healy was 2 for 4 with doubles and Matt Chapman homered for the A’s.
The victory came on a day legendary former A’s broadcaster Bill King was posthumously inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
″(King ) was such a big part of my youth and him going in to the Hall of Fame today,” Melvin said. “Unfortunately, he was not here to enjoy it and see it. It ended up being a nice day, and to get a win out of it that gets you a round number, it makes it a little better.”
Matt Chapman hit a long two-out solo home run to left (431 feet according to Statcast) in the bottom of the eighth that made it 4-3. Chapman’s sixth home run came on an 89 mph changeup Buddy Boshers left over the heart of the plate
Miguel Sano hit a two-run homer (his 24th) as the Twins lost for the fifth time in six games and fell to 1-4 on their West Coast road trip.
Rookie Zack Granite was 2 for 4 with a two-run single, extending his hitting streak to nine games.
“I struggled coming up,” Granite said. “I’m feeling good at the plate. I’m getting good pitches to hit and I’m just keeping it simple and making good contact.”
Twins: CF Byron Buxton is expected to join the team in San Diego and will be in the starting lineup on Tuesday for the team’s series opener against the Padres after completing a two-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester, manager Paul Molitor said. Buxton went on the DL July 15 with a left groin strain.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray’s Sunday start was pushed back a day and RHP Jharel Cotton will come of the DL to start in Gray’s place, manager Bob Melvin said. Cotton has been out since July 4 with a right thumb blister. . RHP Kendall Graveman (right shoulder strain) threw 81 pitches on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville on Saturday. He struck out five and gave up one run on four hits and two walks. . Utilityman Chad Pinder (left hamstring strain) is expected to join the team on Sunday and be activated by Monday.
Cotton will go against Twins RHP Bartolo Colon, who is 0-1 with a 7.00 ERA in two starts since joining the Twins earlier this month. The 44-year-old pitched for the A’s in 2012-13. He’s 9-6 with a 3.37 ERA in 19 career starts against his former team.
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