Plouffe Lifts Twins To Victory; Twins 4, A’s 3

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Trevor Plouffe was able to make amends for his mistake. Daric Barton did not.

Plouffe hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning for his season-high third RBI, helping the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland Athletics 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Pinch-hitter Delmon Young singled to open the inning and advanced to third when Barton tried for the force at second base on Alexi Casilla’s bunt but threw the ball into the outfield. After Denard Span grounded out, Plouffe hit a flyball to right field off Brian Fuentes (1-4).

“That’s baseball,” Plouffe said. “Most teams will capitalize on other people’s mistakes. They did when I made the error and we did when they made the error.”

Barton came within 10 feet of tying the game in the 10th but Michael Cuddyer made the catch on the warning track, ending the game.

“I was just trying to figure out if I was going to catch it in the air or let it drop,” Barton said of his error. “I had him at second and just threw it away. Bad throw.”

Joe Nathan (1-1) got two outs for the win, pitching out of trouble in the ninth. Matt Capps got three outs for his seventh save.

“Nathan made some great pitches and that’s what we’re looking for him to do,” Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We have been keeping him away from situations to let him get his feet wet but it’s time to push the envelope. We need him to make big pitches in the seventh and eighth innings.”

Justin Morneau also drove in a run for the Twins, who have won two straight following a nine-game losing streak.

“As easy as you lose games you can win games,” Plouffe said.

Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in two runs and Hideki Matsui added an RBI single for the A’s, who fell a game behind Texas at the top of the AL West.

“When you play that close, that late, you have to do everything right to win,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “I never believe one play here or there necessarily wins a game when you play 27 or even 30 outs.”

Twins starter Carl Pavano, who was looking for his 100th career win, allowed three runs — one earned — on six hits. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. He made his first career start in Oakland and has now started in every AL stadium.

A’s starter Brandon McCarthy also lasted seven innings, giving up three runs on nine hits. He struck out one and did not walk a batter.

McCarthy is winless in his last seven starts.

Morneau singled home a run in the first to give the Twins the early edge. Morneau, who has been struggling all season, went 2 for 4 and is hitting .485 (16 for 33) with 13 RBIs over his last 10 games against the A’s.

Kouzmanoff singled home two runs in the second to put the A’s on top 2-1.

Plouffe, whose throwing error led to the A’s first two runs, came back to drive in two runs in the third for a 3-2 Twins lead.

“That’s what you want to do,” Plouffe said. “I was fortunate enough to come up with runners on second and third and less than two outs twice.”

Matsui’s RBI single in the sixth tied it.

NOTES: The Twins hung a No. 3 jersey in their dugout to honor the memory of slugger Harmon Killebrew. The team will continue the practice the rest of the season. Players are also wearing patches in his honor on their uniform sleeves. … Morneau is a career .313 hitter, with 43 RBIs, against the A’s. … A’s RHP Michael Wuertz has not allowed a run in 10 of his 11 appearances this year. … Twins’ LHP Glen Perkins has not allowed an earned run in 18 of his 21 appearances. … Barton had gone 24 consecutive games without committing an error. He still leads the majors with six errors by a first baseman. … A’s OF Coco Crisp was not with the team because of a family issue.

  • Ron Gardenhoser

    Fire Al

  • zee the reporter

    The twins need more runs to keep it going! zee reporting on gardy!

  • Al

    Give Gardenhoser a contract extension.

  • Sue

    They already did last year, they gave him a 3 yr extension, that’s what scares me that he will be around for another 3 yrs. GASP!

    • mike

      yeah, god forbid we have to go through manager’s like the Pittsburgh Pirates and never have an exciting or winning season in years. Go away troll

      • Sue

        Well at least that’s better then having a winning season over and over and not going anywhere now that’s exciting. Moron

    • Dave

      Sue, I hope you aren’t around 3 more years, that prospect scares me too.

  • Sue

    Don’t worry Dave, I will be here but all you Twins fans might not be when they will continue to slid the next 3 years and do nothing.

    • Mike

      and 3 years from now I will still have my season tickets and tell you that I’m proudly a MN Twins fans. there’s nothing I hate more than fair weather “fans”.

  • Me

    Woo hoo! Look out Cleveland, here we come! Don’t laugh. This is how we did after the all-star break in ’06.

  • Bruce Erickson

    it has been frustrating, but I think they are going to get better soon, the line up has looked like a patch quilt for quite a while, it will be interesting as the walking wounded start to return, let’s just hope we do not get too far back.

  • Flanery

    I agree with you Mike!!! We don’t need anymore people on the band wagon in Minneesota!!! Sue is a real IDIOT!!!

    Half the people on here don’t knows S#!T about baseball
    Im a true Twins fan 4 LIFE win or lose!!!

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