Tumbling TwinsLiam Hendriks was left to wait for his first major victory yet again. He had had 13 tries spanning two seasons as a starter.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Liam Hendriks was left to wait for his first major victory yet again.
He had had 13 tries spanning two seasons as a starter.
A day after being recalled from Triple-A Rochester, for his third big league stint of the year with Minnesota, the 23-year-old Aussie struggled along with the Twins offense in a 5-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.
It was another stumble on this tough road trip.
“It was just a bad day for us,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It’s too bad we lost the series.”
Coco Crisp homered, hit an RBI double, and scored three runs for the A’s, tinkering a bit with his batting stance.
“I felt like Cal Ripken over there with so many batting stances,” Crisp said.
Yoenis Cespedes hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning that held up for Tommy Milone, and Crisp also singled and stole his 28th base to give the A’s a much-needed boost only a couple of hours after right-hander Bartolo Colon received a 50-game suspension for a positive testosterone test. The ban came one day before he had been scheduled to start the opener of a series at Tampa Bay.
Milone (10-9) allowed one run and two hits, struck out five and walked one in eight impressive innings to end a five-start winless stretch in which he had gone 0-3 since his last victory, a 9-3 decision at Minnesota on July 14. He lowered his ERA to 3.87 from 4.03 and became Oakland’s second 10-game winner after Colon, the 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner while with the Angels.
The A’s won despite four errors behind Milone.
“Typically, you don’t win games making four errors,” manager Bob Melvin said. “The reason we did come back is Milone.”
Josh Reddick added an RBI single for the A’s (67-56), who moved a season-high 11 games over .500 — their best since finishing the 2006 season at 93-69. That’s the last year Oakland reached the playoffs, getting swept in four games of the AL championship series by the Detroit Tigers.
Oakland began the day a half-game out in the AL wild-card race.
“When Coco plays well, we win,” Melvin said.
Hendriks (0-6) is yet to win in nine starts this season. The right-hander allowed four runs and six hits in five innings — and he didn’t get much help from the Twins’ stagnant bats. They managed only three hits, Matt Carson getting two of them.
“I wasn’t given a lead and trying to blow it,” Hendriks said. “We had some good at bats against Milone. It was just one of those days where I had to keep us in the game. It’s unfortunate I only went five.”
Not even the steady Josh Willingham had a hit in him this time as Minnesota lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Willingham, who hit 29 home runs in 2011 during his lone season with the A’s, went 0 for 4 after he had hit safely in each of his first eight games against his former club this year.
“Milone did the rest. He shut us down and went deep into the game,” Gardenhire said.