A's 8, Twins 2

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- One day after the Oakland Athletics pounded the Minnesota Twins, they kept the bats going and beat them 8-2 on Thursday at Target Field.

Oakland routed Minnesota 18-3 on Wednesday. The A's had 22 hits in that game and they banged out 11 more on Thursday to take the series 2-1.

The A's were aided by a terrific performance from starter A.J. Griffin. He pitched lights out in the early going, retiring the first 10 batters he faced, striking out six of them.

Carrying a one-hitter into the seventh, Griffin finished a terrific line: 97 pitches in seven innings, giving up one run on two hits and one walk with eight strikeouts.

Twins starter Scott Diamond was pitching in his first outing since returning from Class AAA Rochester, and he started strong, retiring his first six batters. But as in earlier performances this season, he didn't hold up.

The tough A's lineup got to him in the third and chased him in the fifth. Diamond threw 93 pitches in 4 2/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned), six hits, with two walks and a strikeout.

The A's opened the scoring in the third inning when Derrick Norris doubled to the right corner and Daric Barton singled to left. Diamond nearly got out of the inning when Coco Crisp hit a potential double-play ball to short. But Crisp beat it out and Norris scored.

Diamond then walked Josh Donaldson and gave up a single to Jed Lowrie, scoring Crisp. Yoenis Cespedes followed with a triple off the wall in center, scoring Donaldson and Lowrie for a quick 4-0 lead.

In the fifth, Crisp hit a sharp grounder to third and Trevor Plouffe made a great grab but threw wide of first base. Crisp stole second and then scored on Donaldson's single to left.

After Cespedes hit a shot up the middle, just missing Diamond, the Twins starter was relieved of his duty.

The A's kept hitting in the sixth as Chris Young hit a triple to the right-field wall. He scored on Reddick's sacrifice fly to left. Reddick also hit a two-run homer in the eighth -- his 11th of the season.

The Twins finally got on the board in the seventh when Oswaldo Arica hit his 12th homer of the season over the left-field fence. They added another in the eighth when Plouffe scored on Alex Presley's single. The shutout was avoided but another lopsided loss was not.

NOTES: The A's have used just 18 pitchers this season, which is tied with Kansas City for the fewest in the majors this year. ... Over the previous 32 games (since Aug. 9), the A's have 48 home runs. Over that span, they lead the majors in homers, slugging percentage (.490) and extra base hits (122). ... The Twins have gone 19-10 against the AL West this season, winning nine of their last 13 games.
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