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Twins top A's with 4-run 4th, end 4-game skid

July 28, 2017

OAKLAND -- The Twins got a big boost from the bottom of their lineup to back starter Jaime Garcia in his club debut, helping end a four-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the A's Friday night in Oakland.The Twins' 6-7-8-9 hitters -- Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite, Ehire Adrianza

OAKLAND -- The Twins got a big boost from the bottom of their lineup to back starter Jaime Garcia in his club debut, helping end a four-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the A's Friday night in Oakland.
The Twins' 6-7-8-9 hitters -- Robbie Grossman, Zack Granite, Ehire Adrianza and Jason Castro -- combined for seven hits, five runs and three RBIs in the first five innings. The quartet led the Twins to one run in the second, four in the fourth and one in the fifth, highlighted by catcher Castro's two RBI doubles and Adrianza reaching base three times.
"The bottom did a nice job," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Granite had a couple good at-bats and Adrianza had a couple of hits, including one on the hit-and-run where he dumped one into left field. Castro, he's had a pretty good road trip. Had some big hits down in L.A. and followed it up tonight with a couple doubles, too."

After being acquired in a trade from the Braves on Monday, Garcia went 6 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. The left-hander struck out seven and walked three to pick up his fifth win of the season.
"I wouldn't say pressure, but I wanted to go out there and go as deep as I could and give us a chance to win, and I was able to do that tonight," Garcia said.

A's starter Daniel Gossett took the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) in 3 2/3 innings. The rookie gave up nine hits, walked three and struck out four, a discouraging effort after going six innings for a win in his last start.
"He was a little out of synch, he wasn't throwing the ball for the most part where he wanted to," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He had a tough time commanding his changeup and his slider, so it wasn't as good as his last time out."
Gossett added, "Command wasn't there, my stuff wasn't there. It was one of those games where I didn't really have much. But I still have got to be able to make some sort of adjustment and be able to compete even when I don't have my stuff."
Oakland scored two runs in the fourth on a double from catcher Ryan Lavarnway and one in the fifth on a single from Khris Davis.

Great escape: After the Twins scored one in the top of the second, Garcia pitched himself into a bases-loaded, no-out jam by walking the first two batters and giving up a single. But the left-hander struck out Lavarnway and got Matt Joyce to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to escape the inning without allowing a run. More >
"I shouldn't have put them on, but after I put those guys on with a couple walks there, my mentality is always continue to make pitches," Garcia said. "It's the next pitch, regardless of what happens behind you. I was able to do that in that inning and a couple other times as well."

Erratic fourth: Minnesota had already scored twice in the fourth when Gossett threw a wild pitch, allowing Castro to score and moving James Dozier up to second base. After a strikeout, Dozier raced home from second on Miguel Sano's infield single, with the throw from Ryon Healy beating him to the plate. But Lavarnway couldn't keep the ball in his glove, and Dozier tacked on the fourth run of the inning.

"That's baseball. Baseball will humble you very quickly. I had a couple good starts in a row and started to feel pretty good about myself. And then baseball stepped in real quick. That's just what's going to happen. I'm going to have to learn from it and move on." -- Gossett
Four Oakland pitchers combined to issue seven walks. It's the fifth time this season that the A's have given up seven or more free passes.
A's rookie third baseman Matt Chapman added to his growing highlight reel in the third inning with a diving stop to start a double play. With a runner on first and no outs in the third, Sano roped a grounder down the third-base line at 110 mph, according to Statcast™, but Chapman dove to his right and snagged the ball, then spun in a single motion to start a 5-4-3 double play. More >

Twins:Adalberto Mejia (4-4, 4.10 ERA) faces Oakland for the first time in his career coming off one of his shortest outings this season when he lasted just 4 1/3 innings against Detroit on July 23. Mejia battled control issues throughout the game but limited the Tigers to one earned run on five hits.
Athletics: Right-hander Chris Smith (0-1, 3.32 ERA) will take the mound for Saturday's 6:05 p.m. PT tilt with the Twins. Smith took the loss in his most recent start when he allowed three runs and walked three in six innings against Toronto on July 24.
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Alex Simon is a reporter for based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @alexsimon99.

Michael Wagaman is a contributor to based in the Bay Area. He covered the Twins on Friday.