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A's smash 4 HRs, rout Twins

Jul 15, 2012 - 3:59 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Chris Carter clubbed a three-run home run as part of a four-run first inning and the Oakland Athletics defeated the Minnesota Twins, 9-3, in the second installment of a three-game set Saturday at Target Field.

The A's, who struck out 16 times in Friday's series-opening win, pounded four home runs as a team and improved to a major-league best 8-1 in the month of July.

Yoenis Cespedes crushed a two-run homer and knocked in three runs, while Seth Smith and Brandon Moss each belted solo shots. Tommy Milone (9-6) scattered 10 hits and gave up two runs over six frames to earn his third victory in his last four starts.

Rookie Cole De Vries (2-2) was shelled for seven runs on six hits over five frames to absorb the loss for Minnesota. Josh Willingham and Brian Dozier each added solo home runs, but the Twins dropped their fourth straight game.

"I just didn't feel very good out there tonight," admitted De Vries. "I felt real weak for whatever reason for the first inning or two. I just felt overly hot."

The A's jumped all over the rookie right-hander early as they struck for four runs in the top of the first inning.

De Vries retired the first two A's on fly outs, but surrendered a single to Josh Reddick to start the rally. Cespedes followed with an RBI double into right field before Moss was hit by a pitch.

Carter then delivered the big blow of the inning when he crushed a fastball deep into the bullpen in left-center field to give the A's a 4-0 lead.

"The bats came alive today," remarked Milone. "When you get ahead early like that in the first inning, my job is to go out there and pound the strike zone and let them hit it into play, so that's what I did."

The visitors added two more in the third on a long ball as Cespedes launched a first-pitch fastball the other way to score Reddick, who reached on a one-out single.

Minnesota got one back when Dozier led off the bottom half with a solo blast, but the A's responded with their third home run of the game in the fifth, as Smith's upper-deck shot gave his team a 7-1 advantage.

De Vries was pulled to start the sixth but the A's didn't stop hitting balls out of the park as Moss launched Anthony Swarzak's fourth offering over the wall in straightaway center field, pressing the margin to 8-1.

Minnesota battled back in the bottom half as Joe Mauer walked to start the frame before back-to-back singles plated a run.

Trevor Plouffe followed with a line-drive base hit to load the bases, but Milone minimized the damage by inducing a tapper back to the mound from Ryan Doumit before grounding Dozier into an inning-ending double play.

Willingham smacked a leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Smith answered in the ninth with an RBI triple high off the wall in right field to account for the final margin.

Game Notes

Willingham has now hit a home run in each of his last four games at Target Field. He has five home runs in five games against the A's...Justin Morneau extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single in the sixth...Plouffe's base hit in the sixth improved his career-high hit streak to 12 games...The temperature was 90 degrees at start time.

  • OAKLAND: 9

    Jul 14 10:20 PM

  • Seth Smith triple to right scored Kurt Suzuki with one out. Runner on third and Josh Reddick due up.

    Athletics 9, Twins 3  Top 9, 1 OutJul 14 10:08 PM
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    Athletics 9, Twins 3  Top 9, 1 OutJul 14 10:08 PM

  • Josh Willingham lead-off Home Run (22) to center. Justin Morneau due up.

    Athletics 8, Twins 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 14 9:46 PM

  • Justin Morneau single to left scored Joe Mauer with none out. On the play, Josh Willingham advances to second. Runners on first and second and Trevor Plouffe due up.

    Athletics 8, Twins 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 14 9:07 PM
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    Athletics 8, Twins 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsJul 14 9:07 PM

  • Brandon Moss lead-off Home Run (11) to center. Chris Carter due up.

    Athletics 8, Twins 1  Top 6, 0 OutsJul 14 8:51 PM

  • Seth Smith one-out, solo Home Run (9) to right center. Josh Reddick due up.

    Athletics 7, Twins 1  Top 5, 1 OutJul 14 8:35 PM
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    Athletics 7, Twins 1  Top 5, 1 OutJul 14 8:35 PM

  • Brian Dozier lead-off Home Run (4) to left. Jamey Carroll due up.

    Athletics 6, Twins 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 14 8:09 PM

  • Chris Carter grounded out third to first to end the inning.

    Athletics 6, Twins 0  Mid 3Jul 14 8:07 PM
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    Athletics 6, Twins 0  Mid 3Jul 14 8:07 PM

  • Chris Carter two-out, three-run Home Run (4) to left center scored Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss. Brandon Inge due up.

    Athletics 4, Twins 0  Top 1, 2 OutsJul 14 7:34 PM

  • Yoenis Cespedes double to right scored Josh Reddick with two outs. Runner on third and Brandon Moss due up.

    Athletics 1, Twins 0  Top 1, 2 OutsJul 14 7:31 PM

  • OAKLAND: 0
    Top 1, 1 Out

    Jul 14 7:24 PM
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    Athletics vs. TwinsDec 20 6:03 AM