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Twins 5, A’s 4: Waiting out the southpaw

Twins outlast the port-side starter and win it off the starboard reliever

Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Coming into today, the Twins had a collective .651 OPS against left-handed (southpaw, in the vernacular) pitchers. For a large portion of the late afternoon, it looked like another lackluster lefty loss.

After four innings on the books, Oakland had built a 3-0 advantage off Joe Ryan via RBI knocks from the Diaz-es—Jordan & Aledmys. Solo home runs by Christian Vazquez & Alex Kirilloff kept the contest competitive, but for the most part A’s left-handed starter JP Sears was silencing MN bats as per the usual.

Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics
Another dreaded lefty
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

But by the seventh inning, Sears’ pitch count was climbing and after a single from Max Kepler the southpaw was removed for righty reliever Lucas Erceg. It proved to be the wrong phone call for Oakland manager Mark Kotsay to make.

In short order, a Vazquez walk and Ed Julien pinch-hit single loaded the bases with one out. Then, freed from the tyranny of the port-side pitching, Kirilloff lashed a double into the cavernous Coliseum corner in LF and cleared the bases—5-3 Twins!

Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics
AK breaks it open!
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

A Zack Gelof RBI double would pull the A’s to within a run in the bottom of the seventh, but that proved to be the end of the scoring as late afternoon transitioned to early evening (at least in this Twins Territory time zone).

A one-out double off Jhoan Duran tightened a few sphincters in the bottom of the ninth, but two fly outs later the Twins were shaking hands. Your final: Minnesota Twins 5, Oakland Athletics 4.

Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics
Duran completes the sweep of Oakland
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Though none of the victories were especially impressive over a historically bad Oakland club, the Twins completed a road sweep to begin the season’s unofficial second half! A short flight up the West Coast will beget some Twinkie Town After Dark (TM) in Seattle this coming week.


  • Kirilloff for his lefty-on-lefty ambush HR and lefty-on-righty game-winning 2B.
  • Bally Sports North third-man-in-the-booth Trevor Plouffe for prognosticating AK’s big day.
  • The Texas Rangers for sweeping the Cleveland Guardians and vaulting the Twins 2.5 GA of the Fightin’ Francona’s for the AL Central lead.


  • When embattled relievers Jorge Lopez & Emilio Pagan hold a one-run lead in high-leverage scenarios on the road, it’s a no duds, Twins win sort of day!

Comment of the Game

Minnesota1952’s succinct summation of today’s offensive force.