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A's Top Twins 7-4 in Extras

Updated: 04/09/2014 6:04 PM
Created: 04/09/2014 3:25 PM KSTP.com
By: Nick Tabbert

Derek Norris hit a 3-run homer in the 11th inning as the Oakland Athletics outlasted the Minnesota Twins 7-4 Wednesday.

The Twins (3-5) fought back from an early 4-0 deficit by scoring two runs in the ninth inning to force the game to extra innings.

The game didn't start off well for Minnesota. Starter Phil Hughes in his home debut surrendered four runs on four hits in the first inning. After two walks to start the game, the A's strung together two doubles and two singles to jump out to a 4-0 lead. Hughes finally struck out John Jaso to record the game's first out after throwing 40 pitches.

Hughes settled down and gave up only one hit the next four innings to keep his team in the game.

Jason Kubel hit a home run in the second inning to put Minnesota on the scoreboard, and Brian Dozier hit a home run in the eighth inning to trim the A's lead to 4-2.

Trailing by that score in the bottom of the ninth inning, Kubel singled to center field and Kurt Suzuki walked to put two on with no one out. 

Chris Herrmann tried to sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, but popped the bunt in the air to pitcher Jim Johnson. Aaron Hicks then walked to load the bases with only one out.

Eduardo Escobar softly singled to left field in front of Yoenis Cespedes to score Kubel, and the A's played for the out at third base. Suzuki was ruled safe at third, and after an A's challenge, the called was upheld.

So with only one out and the tying run at third base, Dozier hit a ball to deep right field. Suzuki tagged and just beat the throw home to score the Twins' fourth run. The umpires reviewed the play and confirmed the safe call.

The replay was shown on the video boards at Target Field, and the crowd erupted when it showed Suzuki sliding past the tag of Jaso.

Joe Mauer was then intentionally walked to again load the bases.

Trevor Plouffe had the chance to win the game, but grounded out to third base to end the threat.

Daric Barton and Alberto Callaspo reached in the 11th prior to Norris' bomb to left center field for the A's, who are now 5-3.

The Twins again rallied in the bottom half of the 11th, loading the bases with two outs and Plouffe at the plate. Plouffe hit a line-drive to the third baseman Josh Donaldson to end the game.

Minnesota will try to salvage the series finale against Oakland on Thursday afternoon at Target Field.

Oakland Athletics’ Sam Fuld, left, scores on a single by teammate Josh Donaldson as Minnesota Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki fields the throw during the first inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in Minneapolis.
Photo: AP/Tom Olmscheid
Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and his wife, Carol, pose with a humidor filled with cigars in recognition of his 1000th win prior to the Twins baseball game against the Oakland Athletics.
Photo: AP/Tom Olmscheid

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