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Twins AL Central lead melts to 3 games in setback to A's

Loss if fourth in five games

July 20, 2019 - 7:12 am
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   MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Marcus Semien led off the game with a home run and later tripled and doubled as the Oakland Athletics kept rolling, topping the Twins 5-3 on a sweltering Friday night.

   With Cleveland beating Kansas City 10-5, the Twins lead in the AL Central shrank to three games.

   The Twins managed just seven hits in their fourth loss in five games since taking two of three from the Indians last weekend.

   "We have to find ways to find some holes and maybe hit some balls a little harder, but I'm happy with the types of at-bats that we've had," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. "Again, this is cyclical and we're going to go through a season where things are going to work out and things aren't."

   The temperature at first pitch was 94 degrees on a humid, muggy evening. It was tied for the second-hottest start in Target Field's 10-year history, trailing only a 97-degree reading on July 16, 2012.

   Players on teams appeared to have trouble at times gripping the ball. Minnesota starter Jake Odorizzi was sweating heavily. He took off his glove and peppered both arms with the rosin bag during a first-inning mound visit.

   "It was only like pitching in a rain forest," Odorizzi said. "I was taking the rosin bag and going up and down my arms so I could stop the sweat coming from my hand because I was just pouring sweat. I changed my jersey after the first inning, my hat. I just took it all off and came back fresh. I was pretty drenched out there and I know a lot of guys were in the same place."

   Khris Davis hit a pair of RBI singles as the A's won for the 20th time in 26 games. The AL Central-leading Twins have lost four of five.

   Chris Bassitt (7-4) allowed two earned runs in five innings. Liam Hendriks earned his seventh save by retiring the final five batters.

   For Odorizzi, the first was again his downfall. Fourteen of the 37 runs the All-Star has allowed this season have come in the opening inning.

   Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the third for the Twins.

   Davis had the first of his run-scoring singles in the first and drove in Ramon Laureano during a two-run sixth off reliever Ryne Harper (3-2).

   Laureano reached base three times and is hitting .455 with six homers and 12 RBIs in 13 games in July.

   TRAINER'S ROOM

   Twins second baseman Jonathan Schoop missed his third straight game with an abdominal strain. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Schoop was going to swing and take groundballs before the game.

   Center fielder Byron Buxton, on the seven-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms, used Friday as a recovery day following some testing on Thursday. Baldelli said Buxton is "going to take part in some baseball activities this weekend."

   UP NEXT

   All-Star RHP Jose Berrios (8-5, 3.10 ERA) starts for Minnesota on Saturday night and is opposed by Oakland LHP Brett Anderson (9-5, 3.79). Berrios has allowed three runs in each of his past two starts, including a five-inning performance at Oakland on July 4. Anderson surrendered two runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Chicago White Sox in his first start since the All-Star break.
 

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