Surging Twins defeat Athletics

Published 5:48 am Friday, May 8, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — An impromptu dance party broke out in the Minnesota Twins clubhouse after their latest victory, which may seem a little silly for a win over the Oakland Athletics in May.

Considering this is a franchise coming off of four straight 90-loss seasons and started the season 1-6, it makes a little more sense.

Eddie Rosario drove in two runs and Glen Perkins got four outs for his 10th save to help the Twins beat the Athletics 6-5 on Thursday and improve to three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2010 season.

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Eduardo Escobar also drove in two runs, and the Twins (16-13) overcame a rough start from Ricky Nolasco to win for the seventh time in eight games. Nolasco (2-1) gave up four runs and six hits in five innings, but the Twins still finished their longest homestand of the season at 8-3 and are an AL-best 12-5 at home this year.

“We had this confidence from Week 1, it’s just hard to show it with a 1-6 record,” third baseman Trevor Plouffe said. “We knew we could do it. But talk is cheap. You have to go out there and win. That’s what we’ve been doing lately.”

Drew Pomeranz (1-3) walked a career-high five while giving up six runs — four earned — and three hits in 4 1-3 innings for the Athletics. Ike Davis had a homer, a double and two RBIs, and Billy Butler added two hits and an RBI.

Rosario was called up on Tuesday to replace the injured Oswaldo Arcia, and the Twins said at the time it likely would be a short-term stay. But in his first big-league at-bat on Wednesday night, he homered on the first pitch he saw, jumpstarting the Twins to a 13-0 romp. Rosario followed that up on Thursday with a sacrifice fly in the second inning and a sharp single in the fourth that tied the game at 4.

“It’s a good first couple of games for him,” manager Paul Molitor said. “He’s kind of feeling his way, but he looks fairly confident.”

Pomeranz was done in by a lack of control and some sloppy Oakland defense. A throwing error by second baseman Brett Lawrie allowed Escobar to score during Minnesota’s three-run second inning, and shortstop Eric Sogard bobbled a ground ball for an error in the fifth that led to another run.

Pomeranz left after walking two of the first three batters in the fifth inning. Dan Otero walked Kennys Vargas before Escobar punched a single through the right side of the infield to give the Twins a 6-4 lead.

“Pretty much beat myself out there,” Pomeranz said. “Gave up three hits and six runs, that should never happen. I wasn’t attacking guys like I would’ve liked to.”


Athletics: Ben Zobrist took some swings off a tee on Thursday as he continues rehabbing from left knee surgery. There remains no timetable for a returning. … RHP A.J. Griffin, recovering from Tommy John surgery, was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Thursday.

Twins: RHP Casey Fien, on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, was cleared by doctors to begin a throwing program on Friday.


The Athletics will head to Seattle for a series against the Mariners. RHP Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.67) will start for the A’s against RHP Taijuan Walker (1-3, 8.74). Gray is 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in four starts at Safeco Field.

The Twins start a trip in Cleveland. RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-0, 2.63) will start the opener against Indians RHP Trevor Bauer (2-0, 3.38). Pelfrey is coming off his shortest outing of the season, lasting just 3 1-3 innings of a 13-3 win over the White Sox.


Nolasco was making his second start since coming off of the disabled list with elbow problems, and he did little to show that the time off and rehab made any kind of difference for the struggling right-hander. He was hit hard early and often by the Athletics and quickly gave away a 3-2 lead when Butler and Davis drove in runs in the third inning.

“I have a lot of hope for him,” Molitor said. “I think he got setback with the inflammation in the elbow. He had a really good spring and I think he’s motivated to do well. He’s still kind of trying to find that groove.”