Wild pitch in the 9th lifts Athletics past Twins 7-6
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Matt Chapman had three hits and three RBIs and Ramón Laureano scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch in the ninth inning Sunday as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Minnesota Twins 7-6.
Laureano hit a one-out single off reliever Taylor Rogers (0-2) in the ninth. Matt Olson followed with a grounder back to the mound, but Rogers’ throw skipped off the glove of third baseman Josh Donaldson, who was covering second due to an infield shift.
Laureano advanced to third on the play and scored when Chapman struck out, as the third strike skipped to the backstop.
“I wanted to to get a punchout of Chapman and try to get two outs and leave (Laureano) stranded,” Rogers said. “We did that and it still didn’t go right. Definitely frustrating when you put all that stuff together.”
Lou Trivino (2-1) got four outs to earn the victory for the A’s, who went 4-2 on their trip to Boston and Target Field.
Andrelton Simmons tied it for Minnesota in the eighth with a two-out, two-run homer off reliever Jake Diekman.
Max Kepler homered, doubled and drove in four runs while Trevor Larnach had three singles for the Twins, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.
Twins starter Kenta Maeda gave up three earned runs and eight hits. He left the game after giving up four straight hits to start the fifth inning.
Chris Bassitt went five innings for the A’s, giving up four earned runs and five hits. After needing just nine pitches to get through the first, he endured two long innings that pushed his pitch count to 61.
“I do not know how I survived it — I don’t,” Bassitt said. “If you want to look at one game and say ‘what are the Oakland A’s made of?’ this was the game. I mean, every single thing went against us ... and we still won.”
Bassitt entered the game tied for the AL lead with five hit batters, and the trend continued when he plunked two Twins in the second inning. After Trevor Larnach’s one-out single, Bassitt hit Miguel Sanó on the hand.
Kepler followed with his fourth home run of the season to put the Twins on top 3-1.
Bassitt then hit Willians Astudillo and walked Simmons, but Laureano bailed him out with a sliding catch of Luis Arraez’s sinking line drive in left-center field.
Kepler drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the third. Plate umpire John Libka initially ruled Jorge Polanco out at the plate on Laureano’s throw, but after review the call was reversed.
After two long innings, Bassitt faced just eight batters over the next two innings take some pressure off Oakland’s bullpen.
“It’s too bad we weren’t able to reward him with a win,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “But he pitched well enough to win, and in his eyes, a win’s a win regardless.”
The A’s struck back with four runs in the fifth to take a 5-4 lead. Chad Pinder led off with a double and scored on Sean Murphy’s singles. Hits by Elvis Andrus and Mark Canha chased Maeda.
The inning hinged on an obstruction call against Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt, who bumped into Andrus during a rundown between third and home. That tied the game, and Chapman later drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly.
Oakland tacked on another run in the seventh when Chapman’s infield single scored Seth Brown.
RAMÓN RUNS IT DOWN
Laureno’s catch made things a lot easier for Bassitt in the second inning. Bassitt had already given up a single and a home run, walked a batter and hit two others, all in a span of five batters.
With three runs in and runners on first and second, Arraez had a chance to do even more damage. He slashed a line drive to left-center field that was slicing away from Laureano in center.
Laureano raced to his right and made a sliding back-handed grab for the second out, and when Donaldson grounded out, Bassitt had survived the inning.
Bassitt said he thought it was an out all the way.
“Just because I know Ramón’s in center field and Ramón’s a Gold Glover,” Bassitt said. “He’s the best center fielder in baseball. Anything hit to center field I think is an out, and if it’s not, I’m shocked.”
Athletics: 1B Mitch Moreland (side) missed his second straight game. Melvin said his status would be re-evaluated after Monday’s off day.
Twins: Astudillo, who was hit on the hand by a pitch in the second inning, left the game after the third inning with a hand contusion.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (3-2, 4.40 ERA) will take the mound Tuesday as Oakland hosts Houston to open a three-game series.
Twins: LHP J.A. Happ (2-1, 4.26) will pitch for the Twins in Monday’s series opener against the White Sox at Target Field.
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