Twins hit six home runs in 9-1 laugher to send the A’s down to defeat at Target Field; Gray gets rocked in return game

May 2, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Minnesota Twins pitcher Ervin Santana throws against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

by Jerry Feitelberg

The A’s, losers of six of the last seven games, sent their ace, Sonny Gray, to the hill in the hopes of ending their slide. Gray was making his 2017 season debut and was hoping to regain the form that he showed in the 2015 season. Gray had a bad year in 2016 as he was injured and there was concern that he was not the same Sonny Gray. The A’s were also hoping to get the offense going. That did not happen as Twins’ starter Ervin Santana was terrific. Santana went six innings and allowed just three hits and no runs. Santana is now 5-0 and his ERA is a minuscule 0.66. Santana has allowed one run or less and gone at six innings in all six of his starts. The Twins take Game one of the series 9-1.

The good news was that Gray went six innings and allowed just five hits. The bad news was that three of the hits left the yard. In the bottom of the third, Gray left a curveball hanging over the middle of the plate. Twins’ second baseman, Brian Dozier, did not miss and sent the ball into the left-field stands. Gray walked Max Kepler and then gave up a monster home run to third baseman Miguel Sano. Sano who is six feet four inches tall and weigh 260 pounds sent the baseball into the stratosphere. The ball was hit to dead center and traveled an estimated 456 feet. Gray gave up another home run in the fourth inning to catcher Jason Castro. He left the game trailing 4-0.

With Cesar Valdez pitching in the seventh, the Twins scored four times on the strength of three more home runs. Byron Buxton, hitting about a buck forty, nailed Valdez for his first tater of the season. Brian Dozier followed with his second home run of the night to make it 6-0. Joe Maurer, with a man on, hit his first homer of the year to blow the game open. The Twins scored another run to go up 9-0, but the A’s Yonder Alonso homered to make it 9-1.

Game notes- The A’s have now lost seven of the last eight games played and are now 11-15 for 2017. The Twins have won three in a row and five of the last six to improve to 13-11. The Twins had the worst record in baseball last year.

Sonny Gray had this to say after the game: “”My body feels good,”  ”I felt like I threw the ball OK. Just three hitters in a row was the story of the game. It kind of felt like once they put up that three-spot it was going to be an uphill battle the rest of the way.”

The A’s also announced some very sad news. A’s prospect Casey Thomas died unexpectedly at the age of 24. All of the writers at SportsRadioService extend their condolences to the Thomas family.

The A’s and Twins go at it again Wednesday night at Target Field in Minneapolis. Game time will be at 5 pm.

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About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger

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