The A’s end the road trip on a winning note 8-5 but it wasn’t easy; Casilla bails team out with bags juiced and a 3-0 count going

May 4, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics pitcher Santiago Casilla celebrates as Minnesota Twins’ Miguel Sano struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the baseball game Thursday, May 4, 2017, in Minneapolis. The Athletics won 8-5. Casilla picked up the save. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

by Jerry Feitelberg

Minneapolis- The Oakland A’s concluded the nine-game road trip with a win as they defeated the Minnesota Twins 8-5 Thursday afternoon. The A’s won just two games of the nine played and had lost three in a row.  The A’s return home to face the Detroit Tigers Friday night in Oakland.

The A’s offense, which had been in the doldrums, came to life Thursday. The A’s scored four runs in the first two innings of the game to take a 4-0 lead halfway through the second inning. The Twins, however, scored twice in the second to close the gap to 4-2. A’s starter, Jharel Cotton surrendered solo homers to Eddie Rosario and Danny Santana.

The A’s had a chance to plate some more runs in the fourth as they loaded the bases with just one out. However, Twins’ starter Kyle Gibson was able to escape with no damage done. The Twins tallied an unearned run in their half of the fourth. Eddie Rosario got the rally going when he walked. Catcher Chris Gimenez singled to center, and when A’s center fielder Jaff Decker let the ball bounce off his chest for an error, Rosario was able to scamper home all home from first base.

The A’s added a run in the fifth, a run in the seventh when Ryon Healy crushed his fourth homer of the year and two in the eighth. The A’s were able to load the bases again. Matt Joyce walked, and Jed Lowrie singled to put men on at first and second with no out. Khris Davis struck out, but the ball got past the catcher and both runners advanced. Yonder Alonso walked to load the bases, and Stephen Vogt came through with a double to drive in two to put the A’s ahead 8-3.

However, and this is where things got dicey for the A’s. With a five-run lead, A’s manager Bob Melvin brought in Frankie Montas to pitch. Montas was able to record two outs, but he gave up a two-run dinger to Eduardo Escobar. Melvin brought in Ryan Madson who was able to get the last out of the inning.

Melvin brought in Santiago Casilla to close out the ninth. Casilla who was so successful with the San Francisco Giants until last year when he blew several saves, made Bob Melvin and all the players on the bench squirm through the entire inning. The Twins were able to load the bases without the benefit of a hit. Casilla walked Joe Maurer. He hit Max Kepler with a pitch to put men on at first and second with one out. Casilla now had to face Brian Dozier. Dozier hit 42 homers last year and hit two in Tuesday’s game. Casilla walked him to load the bases. Casilla retired Polanco for the second out and now had to face Miguel Sano. Sano is currently leading the American League in RBIs, and he hit a monster home run Tuesday night. The count had gone to 3-0 before he was able to get two strikes. With the count 3-2 and the runners moving on the pitch, Casilla retired Sano on a swinging strike three to end the game. Had Sano got a hit the game would have been tied but that did not happen, and Casilla earned his third save of the year.

Game Notes- Jharel Cotton, with the win, evened his record at 3-3. Cotton went six innings and allowed three hits, three runs, walked three and struck out nine. Two of the hits were dingers, and one run was unearned.

The A’s offense, which has been in a deep slumber, came to life Thursday. Matt Joyce, Jed Lowrie, Ryon Healy, Stephen Vogt, Chad Pinder, and Jaff Decker all had two hits in the game. Healy had a bunt single and a home run while Stephen Vogt recorded a triple and a double.

The A’s improve to 12-16, and the Twins fall to 14-12.

 

 

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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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