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V is for victory: Valencia, A's win 4th straight

June 1, 2016

OAKLAND -- Danny Valencia homered and drove in three runs against his former Twins club, helping the A's secure the series victory with a 7-4 win at the Coliseum on Tuesday night, their fourth in a row.Valencia's go-ahead, two-run homer in the third inning off Twins starter Tyler Duffey was

OAKLAND -- Danny Valencia homered and drove in three runs against his former Twins club, helping the A's secure the series victory with a 7-4 win at the Coliseum on Tuesday night, their fourth in a row.
Valencia's go-ahead, two-run homer in the third inning off Twins starter Tyler Duffey was his eighth of the season. The third baseman helped the A's retake the lead again in the fifth with an RBI double, and Stephen Vogt extended it in the eighth with a two-run double for his third hit of the night.
"It's a good feeling we have in here right now," Vogt said. "I feel like we're playing good, complete baseball. Guys are coming through with timely hitting and we haven't had that all year. It's been a good four-game stretch for us."

Duffey allowed five runs, yielding 10 hits and one walk with six strikeouts across 4 2/3 innings in the loss. A's lefty Eric Surkamp, recalled from Triple-A Nashville for Tuesday's start, also lasted just 4 2/3 innings, surrendering three runs on eight hits, including a pair of RBI doubles to Byung Ho Park and Robbie Grossman, who finished with a career-high three two-baggers.
"It was not a very good night for Tyler," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He pitched behind a lot. That's one thing that really jumps out at you. A lot of hitter's counts. They did a good job laying off his breaking ball, and then when he got up in the zone, they whacked it a couple times."
Vogt counts: Twice, cleanup man Valencia put the A's on top with crucial hits, but Vogt's at-bats that preceded both of them proved equally significant. The A's catcher led off the third inning with a base hit, setting the stage for Valencia's opposite-field, two-run homer. Vogt then christened the fifth with another single, scoring again on Valencia's ensuing double. Vogt, who enjoyed his fourth three-hit game of the season, has reached base safely in 12 straight games and is 15-for-42 (.357) over that span. More >
"Big hits," Valencia said. "He's been getting on base, and he had as big of an at-bat as any in the game to make it a three-run game. Vogter's been doing a good job. He grinds out at-bats, gives you a tough at-bat every time, and we definitely need him to swing the bat he's swinging right now."

Something's not right: Both teams' starting right fielders made costly misplays on fly balls that led to runs on both sides. First, it was the Twins' Miguel Sano who couldn't keep a high Billy Burns fly ball in front of him, which bounced past to the wall for an RBI triple in the second. Three innings later, Oakland's Chris Coghlan made an almost identical misjudgment on a Grossman fly ball, allowing Trevor Plouffe to score from first as the Twins tied the game at 3-3 with the RBI double.

Less drama, more Dull:Ryan Dull, a magician with men on base, was at it again Tuesday, relieving Surkamp with two outs in the fifth inning and quickly stranding Grossman at second base by striking out Park. Dull, who earned the win, has stranded all 21 of his inherited runners this season, most in the Majors among relievers who have not allowed an inherited runner to score. His opponents are 0-for-28 with runners in scoring position.
Grossman doubles up: Since being called up by the Twins on May 19, Grossman has been one of the club's best hitters and continued that on Tuesday with a career-high three doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. Grossman has reached base safely in 10 of his 11 games, and is hitting .361 with nine RBIs. He also became the first Twins player with three doubles in a road game since Joe Mauer did it on Aug. 4, 2009.More >
"I'm just sticking with my approach," Grossman said. "I put a lot of time in studying pitchers and what they plan on doing with me. I'm trusting my ability."

With his single in the ninth, Mauer now has 1,749 hits, tying Kent Hrbek for fourth on the Twins' all-time hits list, dating back to their move to Minnesota in 1961.
Sano hustled to beat out a potential double-play ball to bring home a run in the second inning, but suffered a strained left hamstring and exited the game. He was replaced by Oswaldo Arcia. Sano was placed on the 15-day disabled list after the game and the Twins called up prospect Max Kepler. More >
"I was trying to hustle for the team," Sano said. "It's tough because I want to help the team and I can't do that when I'm out. It's frustrating. I was hitting the ball well."

Twins: Lefty Pat Dean is set to make his third career start on Wednesday against the A's at 2:35 p.m. CT. Dean has been impressive in his first two starts, posting a combined 2.77 ERA with 13 strikeouts and three walks in 13 innings. He's coming off his first career win against the Mariners on Friday.
Athletics: The A's will close out their homestand with a 12:35 p.m. PT matchup with the Twins in Wednesday's series finale at the Coliseum. Left-hander Sean Manaea is scheduled for his seventh start of the season, having gone 1-3 with a 7.03 ERA in his first six outings.
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Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Read his blog, **Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter [@RhettBollinger](** and listen to his podcast.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for since 2010.