The A's beat the Twins, 9-4, tonight at the O.co Coliseum to extend their win streak over Minnesota to 12 straight now. Jeff Samardzija threw six solid innings to get his third win in an Oakland uniform, and catcher Derek Norris added five RBI to pace the offense.
Overall, A's hitter drew 11 walks on the night, included two bases-loaded free passes for Norris. Josh Donaldson added three hits and two RBI for Oakland, which pushed its MLB-best record to 72-44 this season—including a 40-20 record at home, which is also the top mark in the majors this year.
The Twins actually outhit the A's, 12-10, but it didn't matter with all those walks. Minnesota rookie starter Trevor May—in his big-league debut—walked seven batters without a strikeout in his two innings of work tonight. Oakland ended up leaving 12 men on base in a game where they scored nine runs.
It was that kind of night.
More than 32,000 fans were on hand for Tony LaRussa Night, as the A's honored their former manager—just inducted into the Hall of Fame—with his own bobblehead. Also in attendance tonight in Oakland: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, wearing an A's hat.
(No comment, although perhaps Christie knows he wouldn't be welcome in liberal San Francisco?)
The A's will go for the four-game sweep of the Twins now on Sunday, as they close a ten-game homestand which has turned into something successful after a rough start last weekend. The Kansas City Royals took two of three to deal the A's their first home series defeat in months, but Oakland rebounded by beating the Tampa Bay Rays twice in three games midweek.
With the three straight wins now over the Twins, the A's can make this a seven-win homestand tomorrow.
Game time is 1:05 p.m. Sunday, as Jason Hammel tries for his second win in an Oakland uniform. If he can pitch like Samardzija did tonight—six innings, two runs, five strikeouts—the A's will take it.
After Sunday, Oakland heads out on the road for a tough seven-game swing through Kansas City (four games) and Atlanta (three). The Royals have won six straight now and are in the second wild-card slot in the American League, while the Braves are fighting for a playoff spot in the National League.
Next Sunday, the A's will be on national television against the Braves—on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball, no less—before returning home for a five-game stretch against the New York Mets and the Los Angeles Angels.
The home Angels series also concludes on Sunday Night Baseball, by the way.