Twins begin nine-game homestand with 4-3 win over Oakland
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MINNEAPOLIS -- With help from an RBI double by Danny Valencia and a suicide squeeze bunt laid down by Drew Butera, the Minnesota Twins opened a nine-game homestand with a 4-3 victory over the Oakland A's.
Valencia's double scored Delmon Young from second in the fourth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Two batters later, Butera dropped down a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to score the hard-charging Valencia from third base, giving the Twins a 4-2 lead.
That fourth run was all they would need, as Carl Pavano held the A's to just two earned runs over 6 1/3 innings, and the bullpen kept the A's from catching up the rest of the way.
Valencia finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, while the rest of the Twins lineup managed just three hits.
Oakland starter Gio Gonzalez walked three batters in the first inning, but settled down as the game progressed, allowing four runs (two earned) on three hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out seven and threw 110 pitches.
Matt Capps allowed an unearned run in the ninth after Alexi Casilla botched a two-out groundball, but eventually went on to tally his third save as a Twin and 29th save overall.
The defensive effort from both teams was shaky, at best. Both teams committed two errors and other miscues, including a dropped fly ball by Delmon Young on the warning track in left field that led to a double, and the bobbled backhand by Casilla in the ninth.
A's right-fielder Rajai Davis had a routine single bounce off his glove, giving Young an extra base in the fourth inning, and shortstop Cliff Pennington bobbled two balls -- one that led to the Twins' first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning.
With the win, the Twins (66-50) improve to 20-8 since the All-Star break, and 34-20 at home.
LHP Brian Duensing (5-1, 2.27) is scheduled to face RHP Trevor Cahill (12-4, 2.56) on Saturday. First pitch at 6:10 p.m. on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.