OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — As dominant as Glen Perkins has been this season, the Minnesota Twins’ All-Star closer knew the good times were sure to end at some point.
Perkins allowed a game-tying hit to Jake Smolinski with two outs in the ninth inning and the Oakland Athletics beat the Twins 3-2 on Saturday night on Stephen Vogt’s game-ending single in the 10th.
“It was bound to happen,” Perkins said. “I’ve said all along I’m going to blow a save. I’m going to blow more than one. I’ve got to be able to bounce back.”
Perkins retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth before Brett Lawrie reached on an infield single. Lawrie advanced on a wild pitch and scored the tying run on Smolinski’s bloop single to left field. Perkins had converted all 28 save chances this season.
“I’ve had a lot of balls that should have been hits that weren’t hits in the last month and a half, so that’s the way it works,” Perkins said. “It’ll help me sleep at night if I think that way.”
After the teams were held to just Billy Butler’s solo homer in the first eight innings behind sharp pitching from Oakland’s Scott Kazmir and Phil Hughes, the game opened up late.
The Twins took the lead with two runs in the top of the ninth — only to squander it in the bottom half and lose it in the 10th.
Billy Burns led off with a double against Casey Fein (2-4) and stole third. Vogt followed with a clean single to left to give Oakland its second walk-off win of the season.
“It can end a lot of ways, but that was kind of one of the uglier ways it could end,” manager Paul Molitor said. “We couldn’t contain them there.”
Drew Pomeranz (4-3) pitched the 10th for the victory.
“This team is resilient and picks each other up no matter what happens,” Vogt said. “A win like tonight can propel us to play the way we know how to play for a while.”
Kazmir came within two outs of his first shutout in more than nine years. He escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the first and then faced the minimum over the next seven innings.
Oakland’s major league-worst 85th error of the season then helped fuel a Minnesota rally in the ninth. With one out, Brian Dozier hit a grounder to third base. Lawrie went to his left to field the ball, turned and threw wildly to first, allowing Dozier to reach second on a hit and an error.
Tyler Clippard came in and hit Torii Hunter with an 0-2 pitch before Joe Mauer tied the game with a double. Miguel Sano followed with a sacrifice fly to score pinch-runner Shane Robinson with the go-ahead run.
Kazmir allowed one run and five hits in 8 1/3 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.38 on the season.
Twins: Rookie CF Byron Buxton remains sidelined by a sprained left thumb and has not resumed full baseball activities yet.
Athletics: Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte (strained right shoulder) threw a bullpen session — 30 pitches from the right side, 20 from the left.
Hunter had one hit and was hit by a pitch on his 40th birthday. He was greeted before the game with gag gifts from his teammates of a walker and adult diapers.
Twins: Former Oakland pitcher Tommy Milone (5-1) makes his first career start against the A’s in the finale of the three-game series. Milone is 15-8 with a 2.96 ERA at the Coliseum in his career.
Athletics: The A’s look to reverse their struggles against lefty starters when they face Milone. Oakland has won just five of 22 games started by southpaws this season, the worst record in the majors. Jesse Chavez (4-9) looks to snap a three-start losing streak.
(© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)