Hildenbergers wild pitch loses it for Twins

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Yep, another walk-off loss for Twins

Oakland wins 3-2 on wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth

September 23, 2018 - 7:19 am

   OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Stephen Piscotty scored on Trevor Hildenberger's wild pitch in the ninth inning, and the Oakland Athletics cut their magic number to clinch a playoff berth to one with their second straight walk-off win over the Twins, 3-2 on Saturday night

   Piscotty doubled off Hildenberger (4-5) leading off the ninth, Ramon Laureano struck out, Semien reached on a throwing error by shortstop Jorge Polanco and pinch-hitter Matt Joyce was intentionally walked.

   With the Twins utilizing a five-man infield, Mark Canha struck out in an 11-pitch at-bat. After Minnesota resumed a more normal defense, Hildenberger skipped a fastball past catcher Willians Astudillo, and Piscotty slid home ahead of Astudillo's throw.

   "We didn't do too much to give ourselves a chance," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We get it tied late against a good team with a good bullpen and we couldn't find a way to get that last zero."

   Blake Treinen (9-2) retired three batters for the win.

   Marcus Semien homered for Oakland, which opened a 7 1/2-game lead over Tampa Bay for the AL's second wild card. The A's trail AL West-leading Houston by 3 1/2 games and are 1 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees, who clinched the first wild card earlier Saturday.

   Oakland took the first two games of the series against the Twins despite going hitless in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position, including 10 on Saturday.

   Seeking their first playoff appearance since losing to Kansas City in the 2014 wild-card game, the A's (94-61) moved 33 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 24, 2003. Oakland is 60-25 since mid-June.

   Joe Mauer hit a sacrifice fly in the third off Mike Fiers, but Semien hit a two-run homer against Chase De Jong in the fifth. Astudillo had a tying single off Jeurys Familia in the sixth.

   Astudillo had three hits for Minnesota, which has tied the team record of 15 walk-off losses, set in 1964.

  The Twins have only one chance to break that dubious mark. Sunday's game in Oakland is the Twins' finale on the road.

  Catcher Juan Graterol's contract was selected from Triple-A Rochester by the Twins, who transferred pitcher Ervin Santana to the 60-day DL.

   Third baseman Miguel Sano (lower left leg bruise) had an MRI that was inconclusive. Sano has played in one game since Sept. 4. ... 2B Logan Forsythe (knee inflammation) was held out of the lineup.

   The A's plan to start righthander Trevor Cahill (6-3, 3.77), with Kyle Gibson (8-13, 3.78) starting for the Twins.