for this game

Suzuki delivers walk-off hit as Athletics down Twins

Aug 29, 2008 - 6:22 AM By Michael Duca PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Kurt Suzuki came off the bench to collect his second walk-off hit of the month as the Oakland Athletics edged the Minnesota Twins, 3-2, on Thursday.

The Athletics prevailed with a rally against Craig Breslow (0-2) and Jesse Crain.

Ryan Sweeney, fresh off the disabled list, reached for the third time with a leadoff single in the ninth off Breslow and moved to second on a sacrifice by Daric Barton.

Crain came on and walked pinch hitter Emil Brown before Suzuki, who was batting for Rob Bowen, doubled off the left-field wall to plate the winning run.

Oakland won back-to-back games for the first time since July 10-11, a span of 40 games, the longest such streak in Oakland history.

"Suzuki coming through," Athletics starter Dana Eveland said. "That's starting to become pretty normal here. Every time he comes off the bench it seems like he's getting the job done. It's nice to win a couple in a row."

"He throws hard, and has the good breaking ball," Suzuki said of Crain. "I was just looking in one zone for a pitch to hit. I missed the 2-0 pitch, but I got to a hitter's count at 3-1 and didn't miss that one."

The Twins (75-59) missed a chance to gain a full game on the Boston Red Sox (77-56) in the American League wild-card race and one-half game on the Chicago White Sox (76-57) in the AL Central.

"We pretty much don't worry about the other guys," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We have to take care of our own business. We're on a long road trip ... but we know what happens here with us and the A's, its always a battle."

Minnesota is in the middle of a 15-day, 14-game road trip while the Republican National Convention occupies the Metrodome.

"Obviously, it's a tough situation," Crain said. "I tried to make good pitches (to Suzuki) for the double play and it's just the way things are right now. That's three close games that we've lost."

The A's had opened the scoring in the fourth, when Frank Thomas hit a leadoff double down the left field line and scored two batters later on an impressive double play started by second baseman Alexi Casilla.

Barton hit a sharp grounder up the middle. Casilla dived at the ball, speared it with his glove at full extension and - in one motion - flipped it to shortstop Nick Punto, who barehanded it on the bag and completed the double play.

Eveland, who was sent to the minors after issuing 36 walks in 56 innings but was recalled on August 21, walked two through the first five frames, but each runner was erased on a double-play grounder by the following hitter.

"Two of my walks today were bad, a couple of pitches got away from me, but the double plays helped me cover that up," Eveland said.

But in the sixth, Joe Mauer drew a walk with two on and one out, loading the bases for Justin Morneau, who lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to knot the game at 1-1.

In the bottom of the frame, Oakland regained the lead on Barton's RBI single off Nick Blackburn. Minnesota forged another deadlock in the seventh on Punto's run-scoring base hit.

Blackburn allowed two runs, six hits and a pair of walks while striking out two in 5 2/3 innings.

Eveland tossed seven frames, giving up two runs and five hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Joey Devine (4-0) pitched a scoreless ninth for the win.

"An all-around good day," Eveland said. "We pitched well - not just me, everybody threw well and shut them down."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    MINNESOTA 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 2 5 0
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 3 8 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: MIN - NICK BLACKBURN, DENNYS REYES (6TH), BOOF BONSER (7TH), CRAIG
    BRESLOW (9TH), JESSE CRAIN (9TH) AND JOE MAUER
    OAK - DANA EVELAND, JERRY BLEVINS (8TH), JOEY DEVI

    Aug 29 12:46 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KURT SUZUKI SCORED RYAN SWEENEY.
    FINAL SCORE: OAKLAND 3, MINNESOTA 2

    Twins 2, Athletics 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsAug 29 12:46 AM
  • 105
    roots
    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Twins 2, Athletics 2  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 29 12:16 AM
  • 100
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Twins 2, Athletics 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsAug 29 12:03 AM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY NICK PUNTO SCORED DELMON YOUNG.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, N PUNTO ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 2
    OAKLAND 2 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: C GOMEZ (.254, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 2, Athletics 2  Top 7, 0 OutsAug 28 11:58 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY DARIC BARTON SCORED BOBBY CROSBY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D BARTON ON FIRST, R SWEENEY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    OAKLAND 2 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J HANNAHAN (.222, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 1, Athletics 2  Bot 6, 0 OutsAug 28 11:49 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JUSTIN MORNEAU SCORED DENARD SPAN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MAUER ON FIRST, A CASILLA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 1
    OAKLAND 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR MINNESOTA: R RUIZ (.327, 0-FOR-2)

    Twins 1, Athletics 1  Top 6, 0 OutsAug 28 11:35 PM
  • 28
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 28 roots

    Twins 0, Athletics 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 28 11:17 PM


  • AL
    AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
    DARIC BARTON HIT INTO DOUBLE PLAY SCORING FRANK THOMAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: MINNESOTA 0
    OAKLAND 1 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J HANNAHAN (.223, 0-FOR-1)

    Twins 0, Athletics 1  Bot 4, 0 OutsAug 28 11:09 PM