Gary Sanchez homered, Royce Lewis scored twice and the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland Athletics 3-1 on Monday night.
The Twins followed up a sweep at home against the A’s with a victory in the opener of this series for their first four-game winning streak in a single season against Oakland since 2007. Minnesota has scored just 10 runs in the four games but has held Oakland to only five.
“They’ve been playing us very tough,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “All these tight ballgames, there’s no room to breathe in any of these games and they’ve been pitching very well against us all the way so far this year. ... You’ve got to play nine good innings against them the way they’ve been playing against us.”
Lewis has played 10 major league games after being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft and is already making an impact.
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He started a pair of rallies against Zach Logue (2-2) by doubling in the third inning and walking to lead off the fifth. Lewis came around to score on RBI singles by Jorge Polanco and Byron Buxton to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.
Sanchez then launched a towering 433-foot drive to center field for his third homer of the season leading off the sixth against Domingo Acevedo, making it 3-1.
“I think he’s getting to some pitches right now that maybe first few weeks of the season he maybe wasn’t getting to and he’s shortening up a little bit,” Baldelli said. “Really impactful swings is what he’s putting on the ball right now, but he’s a guy that can do damage. I’ve seen him do a lot of damage in a different uniform and now we’re seeing that damage in person.”
That was more than enough against the struggling A's, who have been held to one run or none in 15 of 38 games. Oakland is batting .199 on the season, becoming the first team since the 1910 White Sox to be stuck below .200 after 38 games.
“Offensively, we haven't gotten the job done,” manager Mark Kotsay said. “We’re doing things that I see improvement in, but we’re obviously not scoring runs.”
Chris Archer allowed one run and two hits in four innings but didn't get a decision because he didn't pitch long enough. Yennier Cano (1-0) tossed two scoreless innings for his first career win.
“It was unexpected,” Cano said. “One of the best things to happen in my life as a baseball player. I got my first beer shower and it was fun and I appreciate their support.”
Tyler Duffey worked the ninth for his fifth career save and first this season.
Logue permitted two runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings.
One of the only bright spots for the A's was the play of shortstop Elvis Andrus. He hit an RBI double in the fourth and then made a diving stop and throw to first to rob Gio Urshela of a hit and save at least a run.
Twins: Kyle Garlick was activated after missing 13 games with a right calf strain. Garlick was in the lineup as the DH and batted third. OF Mark Contreras was optioned to Triple-A St. Paul to make room on the roster. ... Baldelli said he expects SS Carlos Correa (bruised right middle finger) to be activated from the injured list during this series. ... RHP Jharel Cotton has been designated for assignment.
Athletics: INF Sheldon Neuse (groin tightness) was held out of the lineup for a second straight day but was available off the bench. ... C Stephen Vogt (right knee) took batting practice, ran and caught before the game as he returned to baseball activity for the first time since time since going on the injured list April 21.
RHP Dylan Bundy (3-2, 5.76 ERA) will be activated to start Tuesday for Minnesota after a bout with COVID-19. Bundy last pitched on May 4 at Baltimore. RHP James Kaprielian (0-2, 4.97) is scheduled to start for the A's.
With a win, the Twins would take their first series in Oakland since sweeping a two-game set in May 2011. They have lost their last 10 series at the Coliseum.
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