MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — With a two-run double by pinch-hitter Mitch Garver, the Minnesota Twins overtook Oakland starter Trevor Cahill in the fourth inning on their way to a 6-4 victory Thursday night that gave the Athletics consecutive losses for only the second time in more than two months.
The A’s, who lost to last-place Texas on Wednesday, dropped 1½ games behind AL West-leading Houston. They’re four games ahead of Seattle for the second wild card.
Joe Mauer singled in the fourth to tie Rod Carew for second on the club’s career hits list, driving in Minnesota’s fifth run against Cahill (5-3). The right-hander took his first defeat since May 16, and the A’s lost with him on the mound for the first time since June 2. Cahill’s four-game winning streak ended, his longest since 2013 when he was with Arizona.
Khris Davis moved into the major league lead with his 39th home run, a no-doubt drive to start the second inning against Twins starter Kohl Stewart, who was removed with two outs in the fifth. Stewart threw two wild pitches that contributed to A’s runs, one in the fifth that allowed Matt Chapman to chug home.
Alan Busenitz (4-0), the first of five Twins relievers, gave up a two-out single to Marcus Semien later in that inning. But Eddie Rosario snagged the shallow line drive in left field and threw out Matt Olson trying to score from second to end the inning with the Twins leading 5-3.
Garver was only in the game because catcher Bobby Wilson sprained his right ankle while trying to back up first base in the top of the inning. Garver’s double was the third of four straight hits against Cahill, who spent most of June and the first part of July on the disabled list.
The A’s are 42-16 since June 16. Their only other losing streak since the turnaround began that day was a three-game sweep by Colorado from July 27-29.
Max Kepler went deep in the eighth against A’s All-Star closer Blake Treinen, who had not allowed a home run over his previous 58 innings and 49 appearances since Justin Upton connected for the Angels on April 6. Treinen had pitched 12 scoreless innings since July 21.
Trevor Hildenberger shook off Jed Lowrie’s two-out homer in the ninth to finish his fourth save in as many opportunities since closer Fernando Rodney was traded to the A’s two weeks ago.
DINGERS FOR DAVIS
Davis hit his fifth home run in the last five games. That put him within one of becoming only the second player in A’s history to go deep 40 or more times in three straight years and joining Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx, who did so from 1932-34 when the franchise was located in Philadelphia. Mark McGwire (1987, 1992, 1996) is the only other A’s player with three 40-homer seasons.
Mauer, who has 2,085 career hits, trails all-time Twins leader Kirby Puckett by 219. Carew, who amassed 3,053 career hits after playing his final seven years with the Angels, spent 12 seasons with the Twins, like Puckett. This is Mauer’s 15th year with the club. Mauer is also one run short of becoming the third Twins player since the franchise arrived in Minnesota in 1961 to reach 1,000 runs with the team.
Athletics: LF Matt Joyce, on the DL with a lower back strain for the second time this season, was slated to be the DH for Triple-A Nashville in the second game of his rehab assignment. Joyce, who has missed 41 games during this absence, went 0 for 3 on Tuesday and will play every other day for a while as a precaution.
Twins: 3B Miguel Sano was rested for the second time in 25 games since returning from his reconditioning assignment in the minor leagues. He’s in an 0-for-14 slide. “We’ve been pushing him. He’s played a lot. I thought more than anything, his bat looked a little bit tired the last couple of games,” manager Paul Molitor said.
Athletics: LHP Sean Manaea (11-9, 3.70 ERA) pitches Friday night against the Twins. He gave up six runs in four innings in his last start, a loss at Houston that was the first time in 14 turns he’d allowed more than three runs.
Twins: RHP Jake Odorizzi (5-7, 4.55) takes the mound in the second game of the series. He has logged only 18 2/3 innings over four starts in August.
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