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Twins 6, Athletics 5: Minnesota reaches five-year high water mark

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Don't look now, but Minnesota is one of the hottest teams in baseball.

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Today's win makes the Twins 7-3 in their last ten games. It's given them their fifth series win over their last six series. Since starting the season 1-6, the Twins are 15-7. For 2015 on the whole, their record is 16-13, and this is the first time that Minnesota has been three (or more) games over .500 since the last game of the 2010 season.

I can't tell you that this level of success will continue. But right now, it's a hell of a lot of fun to watch the Twins play baseball.

Ricky Nolasco really struggled tonight. He can't put hitters away, with eight plate appearances lasting at least five pitches. His fastball was ineffective, particularly in the second and third innings when he allowed a combined four runs, and at times that curveball just hung. Right now he's not missing any bats, and opposing offenses are hitting his stuff pretty hard.

Luckily, the offense (and Oakland's defense) picked him up. The Twins got on the board in the bottom of the second, already down 2-0, when Brett Lawrie couldn't make a good relay to first base. Kennys Vargas had singled to lead off before Eduardo Escobar and Kurt Suzuki notched back-to-back walks off of the erratic Drew Pomeranz. When Shane Robinson chopped that ball up the middle, it should have been a routine double play. Robinson took second on the errant throw, stole third, and then scored on Eddie Rosario's sac fly. Instead of going into the third down 2-1, Minnesota took a 3-2 lead when both Vargas and Escobar scored.

Nolasco gave two runs back in the third of course. Eddie Rosario  lined Pomeranz's breaking ball right up the middle in the fifth to drive in the Twins' third run. Escobar's bases-loaded single in the sixth drove in two to put Minnesota up 6-4. Ike Davis would hit a big home run to bring Oakland within one, but Michael Tonkin, Aaron Thompson, Blaine Boyer, and Glen Perkins would otherwise shut the A's down.

Brian Dozier made a couple of nice catches today. In the top of the third, with the Twins still leading 3-2 with a man on first, Sam Fuld smashed a liner headed for the right-center field gap that would have easily scored Billy Burns. Dozier nearly caught Burns too far off of first on the play, but the speedy outfielder got back to first with some lightning-quick reflexes of his own.

The very next batter did nearly the same thing. Dozier was playing a bit closer and the ball was hit perhaps just a shade softer, but he jumped up and snagged another line drive that looked like it could have easily gone over his head.

Minnesota took six walks today, which paid dividends. Big hits from Escobar and Rosario with runners in scoring position brought home pivotal runs.

Another win for your streaking Twins, who take three of four from the struggling A's!

ROLL CALL!

# Commenter # Comments
1 SooFoo Fan 72
2 NoahRJ 45
3 beezer07 19
4 MNWildcat 19
5 b1 17
6 less cowbell, more 'neau 14
7 Jesse Lund 14
8 ColossusOfRhode 13
9 Gunnarthor 12
10 bean5302 9

COMMENT OF THE GAMETHREAD

NoahRJ: "51 bitches?"

STUDS

Eduardo Escobar
Eddie Rosario
Brian Dozier
Aaron Thompson
Blaine Boyer
Glen Perkins

DUDS

WHY WOULD WE HAVE DUDS ARE YOU CRAZY?