OAKLAND -- Yonder Alonso hit a solo homer with one out in the 12th to give the A's their second straight walk-off win over the Twins, 6-5, Sunday at the Coliseum.
Alonso finished the day a triple short of the cycle following his homer off Tyler Duffey on a first-pitch changeup to right field for his third career walk-off hit and second career game-ending homer. It gave the A's nine walk-off wins in 2017, the most in the American League, something A's manager Bob Melvin said has raised the team's confidence when they're in close games at home.
"This year, once you get a few of them, I don't want to say you expect it, but you have a good feeling about it happening again once we get to the dugout and have a chance to win," Melvin said.
With two outs in the eighth, A's rookie Matt Chapman connected on a Thomas Pressly fastball and roped a double over left fielder Eddie Rosario's head, scoring Ryon Healy and Rajai Davis to tie the game. The A's had scored twice in the fourth and got a solo homer from Jaycob Brugman in the fifth to get within striking distance.
James Dozier got the day started by hitting a home run on the second pitch of the game. Eduardo Escobar added a two-run shot four batters later to make it a three-run first. The Twins added a run in the third on a sacrifice fly from Joe Mauer and another run in the fourth when Robbie Grossman drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk.
That was all the that Minnesota could muster. The Twins got the potential go-ahead run on base in the ninth, 10th and 11th, but could not score.
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"What we've been doing too much of, is letting these teams hang around," Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. "Really throughout the whole trip we've scored runs early in the game, but we can't find ways to put any numbers up in the second half of the ballgame."
In his third start with the Twins, Bartolo Colon went 6 1/3 innings and allowed three runs on eight hits. The 44-year-old right-hander had one strikeout and one walk, pitching into the seventh.
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A's starter Jharel Cotton gave up all five runs in 3 2/3 innings. He allowed five hits, walked five and struck out five in his spot start for Sonny Gray, who was pushed back to Monday in part because of the impending non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"He just got a little bit out of sync," Melvin said. "He threw some really good changeups at times, good pitches, but he just couldn't get into a rhythm. Got a little frustrated with the walks, and obviously had to come out of the game when he did. I thought his stuff was pretty good, it just didn't translate into outs."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Lost in the sun: With one out in the fourth, A's cleanup hitter Khris Davis hit a popup to shallow left field. While Escobar and shortstop Ehire Adrianza each had a chance at it, both players lost the ball in the Oakland sunshine, watching the ball drop and allowing Davis to get to second for a double. It immediately came back to bite the Twins as Alonso doubled home Davis and the A's scored two runs in the inning.
Chapman's heads-up tag: The Twins saw Max Kepler get into scoring position with one out in the ninth, reaching on a single and advancing on a wild pitch. But when Miguel Sano grounded a ball to third, Kepler broke for the bag and Chapman saw him and made a diving tag to get Kepler out. It was the best chance the Twins had against the A's bullpen, who threw 8 1/3 scoreless innings.
"I was watching the ball and out of the corner of my eye I saw him move and then I heard Marcus [Semien] start yelling, 'Tag, tag, tag!' So that was good communication by Marcus to let me know he was, in fact, going," Chapman said. "Because I did see him move, but I wasn't sure if he was moving, going back or still coming. He let me know that he was coming, and I was able to beat him to the base."
"Any time you get walked off, that's a tough way to lose a ballgame. Today's game kind of mirrored some of the other ones on this trip. We did a fairly decent job early in the game pitching and putting some runs on the board but we got a little stagnant offensively." -- Molitor following Minnesota's fourth walk-off loss of the season and third on the current road trip
"It says a lot about the young guys as well. Us, as veterans, we have to take it into consideration that we have to lead these guys and we have to let them know that we've got to play something a little bit more than nine innings. You've got to fight, you've got to compete, you've got to grind through every inning and just make sure you come out on top and continue to battle." -- Alonso on the A's fighting back from down 5-0
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cotton left after retiring only 11 batters, the shortest stint of his career. Cotton's previous low was 4 1/3 innings. His five walks were also a career worst.
"It was just a bad day in general. Overall, it was just a bad day," Cotton said. "Command wasn't there. Just things I got to get better at."
Twins designated hitter Sano was ejected in the 11th inning after home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi called him out on strikes. Sano paused briefly then slammed his bat down in frustration, prompting Cuzzi to throw him out of the game. That was a recurring theme for Minnesota's hitters throughout the afternoon, as Dozier also got into exchanges with Cuzzi multiple times while fanning five times.
"I think some of those pitches might have been off," Molitor said. "I don't think they were horrifically outside, but obviously [Cuzzi] was giving the outside corner. It's one of those things where the frustration shows up for Doze and for Miggy."
Twins: Right-hander Jose Berrios (9-4, 3.76 ERA) pitches in San Diego on Tuesday night at 9:10 p.m. CT following an off-day. Berrios is second on the Twins in wins and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in eight of his 14 starts this season.
A's: Sonny Gray is scheduled to take the ball for the first of the four-game Interleague Bay Bridge Series against the Giants at 7:05 p.m. PT on Monday night. Gray is 4-2 with a 1.37 ERA in his last six starts, a torrid stretch that's fanning the flames of trade talk.
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