Cesepdes, Donaldson Homer, A’s Top Twins 11-0
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland’s Josh Donaldson made plans to buy a pair of goggles for this year’s locker room celebrations. A’s manager Bob Melvin refuses to think beyond the next game.
Yoenis Cespedes and Donaldson homered, Alberto Callaspo had two hits and drove in two runs, and Bartolo Colon pitched six innings as Oakland trimmed its magic number for clinching the AL West to two with an 11-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Friday night.
“We still have to go out and take care of business,” Donaldson said. “But I am actually getting goggles. My eyes hurt last year.”
At least the A’s have a little longer to plan for such bubbly things. They won the division on the final day of the regular season last year.
“All I know is we have an afternoon game tomorrow and the Rangers are playing in Kansas City,” Melvin said. “We’ll have to wait to see what happens.”
Josh Reddick had two hits and drove in a run for the A’s, who won for the eighth time in 10 games. The A’s can clinch their second consecutive AL West title with a win Saturday combined with a loss by the Texas Rangers.
The A’s manual scoreboard operator waited for a break in the action to post a final on the Royals’ 2-1 win over the Rangers, drawing thunderous applause from the sellout crowd of 36,067, many of whom were in attendance for the Star Wars theme fireworks show afterward.
“How could we not notice?” Donaldson asked. “They showed it on the big screen and zoomed in. We’re all aware of it.”
Colon (17-6) won his third straight start, giving up five hits, walking one and striking out eight, one off his season high.
“He’s been talking about getting his second wind,” Melvin said. “We’re seeing the movement and the velocity coming back.”
Andrew Albers (2-4) lost his fourth straight decision after giving up eight runs — three earned — and eight hits over 4 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out two.
Josh Willingham and Eduardo Escobar each had two hits for the Twins, who have lost four of five.
“It was really an ugly night,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Colon pretty much dominated us. We threw the ball around, missed the ball and had some trouble in the outfield early. Every time we missed a play they took full advantage of it. Not very much fun for us in our dugout.”
Colon extended his scoreless streak to 19 innings, dating to the first inning of the A’s 7-2 win over the Houston Astros on Sept. 8.
“Bartolo was absolutely phenomenal,” Donaldson said.
Tommy Milone threw two scoreless innings and Evan Scribner finished the game.
The Twins made a season-high four errors and the A’s took full advantage with five unearned runs in the fifth inning. Escobar was charged with two errors.
The A’s loaded the bases with two outs against Albers. Escobar dived to nab Chris Young’s sharp grounder down the third base line and then rushed his throw, which skipped past Chris Parmelee and into the Twins bullpen, allowing all three runners to score.
Ryan Pressly took over for Albers and gave up an RBI single to Callaspo, who later scored on a wild pitch.
Cespedes homered leading off the second and Donaldson hit his home run, a two-run shot, in the sixth.
“We have a lot of guys in this locker room who can hit home runs,” Donaldson said.
NOTES: Twins IF Trevor Plouffe was not in the starting lineup because of a left wrist problem. … The Twins have winning records against every team in the AL West except the A’s. … Willingham is hitting .396 (19 for 48) against his former team since 2012. … LHP Pedro Hernandez (3-1, 5.26) is slated to make the start for the Twins on Saturday. He has three successive no-decisions, though the Twins won all three games. … RHP Jarrod Parker (11-7, 3.81) gets the start for the A’s. Parker had his 19-game unbeaten streak end in his last start. … Cespedes (shoulder) was in the lineup as the DH and will not play in the OF for a while. … A’s C John Jaso, who turned 30 on Thursday and has not played since July 24 due to concussions, will increase his baseball activities. … A’s IF Nate Freiman was not available because of an abdominal strain.
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