The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Oakland A's waste Hammel's strong start, lose 6-1 to Minnesota Twins in series finale

  • Print

OAKLAND, Calif. - The other pitcher the Oakland Athletics acquired in the trade for Jeff Samardzija is starting to look like he can contribute during the stretch run after all.

Jason Hammel's second straight superb start ended with the A's bullpen imploding in the final two innings of a 6-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

But the right-hander's turnaround is an encouraging sign for Oakland. Hammel, who beat Tampa Bay his last time out, had lost his first four starts following the July 4 trade from the Chicago Cubs.

"This is the best he's pitched from what I've seen," A's manager Bob Melvin said.

Brian Dozier's 20th homer in the first was the only run Hammel allowed in 6 1-3 innings. He gave up four hits, struck out five and walked two.

"I had to stay the course. I've pitched enough to know you just keep going, you keep working at it and pitching through it," Hammel said. "It was just a matter of going out there, trusting my stuff and keep competing."

A poor offensive showing and a rare off day for Oakland's bullpen gave Hammel little to show for his effort.

Kurt Suzuki hit a tiebreaking double and Josh Willingham added a two-run homer off Luke Gregerson (2-2) in the eighth as the Twins snapped a 12-game losing streak to Oakland. Minnesota scored two more in the ninth against Jesse Chavez to avoid a four-game sweep with its first win over the A's since last September.

Stephen Vogt's RBI single in the first accounted for the A's only run.

Phil Hughes (12-8) allowed four hits in seven innings for his second straight victory. He came out because of a cracked nail on his right index finger, which he glued back on in the clubhouse — something he said he has done throughout his career and shouldn't keep him from making his next start.

Oakland finished its homestand 6-4.

"It was a good homestand," A's shortstop Eric Sogard said. "We're getting to the dog days of August and we know we have to continue to grind out the wins."

LOST IN THE SUN

Suzuki, who was a catcher for the A's from 2007-12 before returning for 15 games late last season, should know more than anybody on the Twins about how difficult the sun can be in Oakland during day games.

Instead, Suzuki provided one of Sunday's best bloopers when he never turned to catch Josh Reddick's popup that bounced off the warning track behind the plate in the fourth. Reddick drew Oakland's only walk off Hughes in the at-bat.

"They said I missed it. But I didn't think I missed it because I didn't even try to go for it," Suzuki joked. "It doesn't count as a miss."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Twins: First baseman Joe Mauer, who has been out since July 1 with a strained muscle on his right side, is expected to be activated at Houston on Monday. Infielder Trevor Plouffe (sore left foot) and outfielder Oswaldo Arcia (lower back pain) sat out. Both are day to day.

Athletics: Shortstop Jed Lowrie got the day off to rest his bruised right index finger, which sidelined him for three games last week. He's expected to start Monday at Kansas City.

UP NEXT

Twins: Minnesota will call up former A's lefty Tommy Milone from Triple-A Rochester to start Monday in Houston. Milone was dealt to the Twins at the July 31 trade deadline for outfielder Sam Fuld after going 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA for Oakland this season.

Athletics: Sonny Gray (12-5, 2.87 ERA), the AL Pitcher of the Month for July, tries to rebound from back-to-back losses in August when he goes in the opener at Kansas City.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Judy W-L endorsed by firefighters union

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007
  • MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 060711 Chris Pedersen breeds Monarch butterflies in his back yard in East Selkirk watching as it transforms from the Larva or caterpillar through the Chrysalis stage to an adult Monarch. Here an adult Monarch within an hour of it emerging from the Chrysalis which can be seen underneath it.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

How many goals do you think Evander Kane will score this year?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google