A's 8, Twins 6

Eric Gilmore, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Coco Crisp hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday night, lifting the Oakland A's to an 8-6 victory over the Minnesota Twins at the O.co Coliseum.
The A's cut their magic number to win the American League West to four and their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to three.
Crisp's home run was Oakland's third of the game. Alberto Callaspo hit a solo shot and Jed Lowrie added a three-run homer, both in a four-run sixth when the A's built a 6-3 lead.
With the game tied 6-6 in the eighth, Daric Barton worked a leadoff walk off reliever Shairon Martis (0-1). With one out, Crisp launched Martis' 2-1 pitch into the right field seats for his 21st home run of the season.
A's rookie right-hander Dan Straily gave up three runs on three hits over 5 2/3 innings and got a no-decision, but his four-game winning streak survived.
Sean Doolittle (5-5) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief to earn the win.
Twins right-hander Kevin Correia allowed two runs on six hits over five innings but didn't figure in the decision.
The A's trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, but they rallied to score four times.
Twins left-handed reliever Ryan Duensing retired the first two batters he faced, but Callaspo, pinch-hitting for Eric Sogard, launched a 3-1 pitch into the left field seats, tying the game. The blast was Callaspo's second career pinch home run and his eighth homer overall this season, three of those since being traded by the Los Angeles Angels to the A's.
After Crisp singled softly to right, Duensing gave way to right-hander Anthony Swarzak. Josh Donaldson lined a single to center, and Lowrie crushed Swarzak's 1-2 pitch over the right-center wall for a three-run homer. The blast was Lowrie's 13th of the season.
The Twins cut Oakland's lead to 6-4 in the top of the seventh on Oswaldo Arcia's solo homer to left-center off left-hander Brett Anderson.
Then in the eighth, Minnesota scored two more runs to pull even. Leading off, Yosmil Pinto singled to center off Ryan Cook and moved to third when Chris Parmelee bounced a single to right. Pinch hitter Chris Herrmann brought Pinto home with a fielder's choice grounder to shortstop, making it 6-5.
After Cook wild-pitched Herrmann to second and then walked Alex Presley, he exited for right-hander Jesse Chavez. Brian Dozier hit a hard ground ball to the hole at shortstop that deflected off the glove of a diving Lowrie for an RBI single, and Herrmann raced home to tie the game.
Chavez struck out Trevor Plouffe, and Doolittle retired Arcia on a fly ball to deep center for the third out.
The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third with an unearned run off Straily. Parmelee led off with an infield single up the middle and went to second when Lowrie threw wildly to first. Parmelee moved to third on Pedro Floriman's groundout to second baseman Sogard and scored on Presley's two-hopper to Sogard. Sogard threw home, but a sliding Parmelee beat catcher Stephen Vogt's tag.
The A's moved ahead 2-1 in fourth, sending seven batters to the plate and leaving the bases loaded. Brandon Moss worked a leadoff walk and scored on Josh Reddick's double to the left-center alley that rolled to the wall.
Reddick moved to third when Seth Smith hit a chopper to Parmelee at first for an infield single. Parmelee looked at Reddick but didn't throw to second baseman Brian Dozier, who covered first. Vogt brought Reddick home with a sacrifice fly to left.
The A's loaded the bases with two outs, but Correia got Donaldson to hit a one-hopper to Floriman, who tossed to second for the force.
NOTES: A's LF Yoenis Cespedes (right shoulder tendinitis) received a cortisone injection after Wednesday's game and was out of the lineup Thursday. Manager Bob Melvin said Cespedes felt "really good" Thursday, but he wanted to give him a day off. "We're hoping he can play (Friday). Probably DH for a day or two." ... Twins C Joe Mauer (concussion), who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 20, did not make the trip to Oakland with his teammates but worked out Thursday at Target Field after spending three days at home. ... Oakland C John Jaso (concussion) took batting practice Thursday, and he might go to instructional league in Arizona on Monday to get some at-bats as a DH, Melvin said. Jaso has been on the disabled list since July 25, but Melvin has not ruled out his return this year. ... Crisp was selected in a vote of teammates as the 2013 Jim "Catfish" Hunter Award winner, which goes to the Athletics' most inspirational player.

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