A’s spoil Twins’ home-opener
MINNEAPOLIS—The Oakland Athletics can win a lot of different ways, as evidenced by their two-year hold on the AL West division title.
Yoenis Cespedes, meanwhile, proved he can play through a hurting right heel—giving Scott Kazmir and the A’s a spark with a pair of RBIs that helped spoil the Minnesota Twins’ home-opener with an 8-3 victory yesterday.
Cespedes has been hobbling around the last few days with the injury, but the team wasn’t worried enough about it to hold him out.
The Cuban slugger followed a lead-off walk to Brandon Moss by crushing a double in the second inning for the first run against Kevin Correia (0-1), then hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Moss added a two-run single in the third while Derek Norris homered in the sixth.
“Everyone knows their strengths and they don’t go outside of their game, and I think that’s what makes us a great overall ballclub and very deadly down the stretch of the whole season,” Norris said.
Jed Lowrie hit what the A’s believed was a home run down the right-field line in the third inning, but the call on the field was a foul ball and the umpire-initiated review, which lasted more than four minutes, upheld the ruling.
Lowrie took a walk instead and later scored.
Kazmir (2-0), who stymied with Twins in five starts against them last season for Cleveland, completed six innings with six hits, three runs, and four walks allowed.
He struck out five, with RBI doubles by Aaron Hicks and Jason Kubel the only damaging hits against him.
This wasn’t his best but Kazmir got enough quick outs to stay in there.
“Not very efficient with my pitches, but there’s going to be days like that so I need to be able to battle,” he reasoned.
“To get six out of that, that’s something you can build on.”
Elsewhere in the AL, New York beat Baltimore 4-2, L.A. dumped Houston 4-1, Boston downed Texas 5-1, and Kansas City doubled Tampa Bay 4-2.
Over in the NL, St. Louis beat Cincinnati 5-3 while Milwaukee at Philadelphia was rained out.
In interleague play, Colorado dumped the Chicago White Sox 8-1 while San Diego at Cleveland was postponed.