With the All-Star break ending the Oakland Athletics went into a three game series with the Minnesota Twinson Friday night looking for the opportunity to to climb over the .500 mark and the A’s did just that. Jonny Gomes and Yoenis Cespedes lead the way to the sweep over the Twins. The A’s improve their record to 46-43 heading into a two game series at home with the Texas Rangers and improved to 9-1 in the last 10 games.
On Friday night Francisco Liriano did his best to keep the A’s offense at bay as he struck out 15 while walking one in eight innings. What cost Liriano was an error on a ball hit by Cespedes which should have been the second out of the inning and his only walk of the ball game to Chris Carter also cost him. With Jemile Weeks already on base with a single, Gomes didn’t wait around after he had struck out in his first at-bat against Liriano. The first pitch of the at-bat was the only pitch he needed and with one swing he put the A’s up 4-1.
Former A, Josh Willingham who had already homered for the Twins first run added a two-run shot cut the A’s deficit to 6-3, yet the A’s in the ninth inning were able to get to the Twins bullpen and Gomes added an rbi single and Brandon Inge also hit a rbi single to add the sixth and final run for the A’s and Ryan Cook the A’s All-Star came in and sealed the victory earning his ninth save of the season. It was also the first Major League win for A.J. Griffin.
As for Cespedes he ended up with two hits in four at-bats and scored twice.
On Saturday Gomes was not in the lineup for the A’s, so it became the Cespedes and Carter show. In the first inning the two got rolling as Cespedes doubled home Josh Reddick and after Brandon Moss was hit by a pitch, Carter took Cole De Vries deep for an early 4-0 lead for the A’s. Cespedes in the third inning added a two-run blast to put the A’s up 6-0.
In the bottom of the third the Twins were able to get a run on the board as Brian Dozier hit a solo home run off of Tommy Milone. The A’s came back with two solo home runs from Seth Smith and Smith’s shot was measured at 448 feet and Moss also connected to bring the lead to 8-1. Twins were able to put on two additional runs bringing the deficit to 8-3 with a single by Justin Morneau and a solo home run from Willingham. Smith just missed his second home of the game in the ninth inning and settled for an rbi triple.
For Cespedes in game two he wound up with two hits in five at bats, scored twice and drove in three runs.
Cespedes for the second straight game got the A’s started scoring with an rbi single to score Weeks. Derek Norris also added an rbi on a walk with the bases loaded in the inning to put the A’s up 2-0 after one. An error by A’s starting pitcher Jarrod Parker allowed the Twins to cut the deficit to 2-1 after one inning.
A’s were able to add two more runs in the in the second inning as Gomes took Twins starter Brian Duensing deep for a two-run shot, Cespedes and Carter hit back-to-back home runs to push the A’s lead to 6-1. Alexei Casilla in the bottom of the second inning hit a sacrifice fly for a run for the Twins and a 6-2 deficit.
The sixth inning started off with a solo home run by Smith, Cespedes drove in another run with a single and Gomes scored on a wild pitch to give the A’s the 9-2 lead. In the bottom of the sixth Ryan Doumit doubled scoring Morneau and Dozier singled scoring Trevor Plouffe and putting an end to scoring for either team and the A’s completed the three game sweep with a 9-4 victory.
For Gomes he went three for four with three runs scored, two rbi and a home run and Cespdes had four hits in five at-bats with a home run, three rbi and a run scored.
Gomes had five hits in eight at-bats in the series with two home runs, seven rbi and four runs scored. Cespedes had eight hits in 14 at-bats, two home runs, six rbi, a double and five runs scored. With his torrid hitting he was named American League Player of the Week.