Mark Kotsay chose again to go with Austin Pruitt as an opener for Hogan Harris and that decision didn’t go well. Carlos Correa led off the game with a single and then moved to second on a walk by Donovan Solano. Pruitt got Byron Buxton to line out to Jace Peterson at third and then struck out Max Kepler for the second out. However, he wouldn’t escape as Kyle Farmer split the gap in right for a two-run double to stake the Twins to an early lead.
Hogan Harris replaced Pruitt to start the second inning and immediately found himself in trouble. Ryan Jeffers walked to start the inning and then moved to second on a bunt single by Michael A. Taylor. After a walk to Joey Gallo loaded the bases, Correa sent a single to left to bring home two more runs to make it 4-0. Harris came back and struck out Solano and Buxton before Max Kepler flew out to Tony Kemp in left on a leaping catch.
The A’s went down in order in the first against Pablo Lopez. Cody Thomas walked with one out in the second to give them their first base runner, but Tyler Soderstrom bounced into a double play to end the inning.
Harris’ struggles continued in the third as Farmer led off the inning with a single. After a strikeout and a force out, Taylor jumped on a curveball and drove it out to left for a two-run home run to push the Twins’ lead to 6-0.
Zack Gelof tripled to lead off the third for the A’s first hit. Jace Peterson struck out for the first out, but Nick Allen connected on a swinging bunt up the first base line. Jeffers fielded it and threw him out at first, but Gelof scored on the play to make it 6-1.
Harris worked a much-needed clean inning in the fourth and then Oakland’s offense got in gear against Lopez. Ryan Noda led off the fourth with a solo homer to right center to cut the deficit to 6-2. JJ Bleday followed with a single to right and came all the way around on a two-run home run by Seth Brown to make it 6-4.
With my strength -- my power -- the world is mine! pic.twitter.com/nYNoteKKbo— Oakland A's (@Athletics) July 16, 2023
The Twins got back to work against Harris in the fifth. Kepler led off the inning with a single, but was erased on a double play. Harris then hit Willi Castro who advanced all the way to third on a bloop single by Jeffers. Minnesota then pulled off a double steal with Castro scoring to make it 7-4.
The A’s got back to work against Lopez in the fifth. Peterson got things started with a single to right. Allen then dropped down a bunt single to put runners at first and second. Kemp followed with a single to right that scored Peterson to make it 7-5. Noda went down on strikes looking for the first out, but Lopez’s 0-1 pitch to Bleday bounced away allowing Allen to score to cut the deficit to 7-6. Bleday walked to put runners at first and second, but Brown went down swinging for the second out. Cody Thomas flew out to end the inning.
Harris came back out to start the sixth and walked Gallo to start the inning. That would end his night as Mark Kotsay would signal for Freddy Tarnok to make his Oakland debut. Tarnok got Correa to ground into a 6-4-3 double play and then struck out Solano for the third out.
The opener put Harris in an early hole, but his struggles continued. He allowed six hits, three walks and five runs over four innings. He stuck out five while throwing 80 pitches.
Oakland manufactured a run in the sixth to tie the game. Soderstrom reached on a check swing single for his first career major league hit. He erased though as Gelof grounded into a force play, but beat the relay throw at first. Gelof stole second and Peterson walked to put runners at first and second. The A’s then pulled off a double steal of their own to put both runners in scoring position. Allen follows with a sacrifice fly to center that scored Gelof to tie the game. After a pitching change, pinch-hitter Brent Rooker sent a deep drive to center that Taylor flagged down at the base of the wall for the final out.
Tarnok retired the first two hitters in the seventh, but then left a breaking ball in the middle of the plate that Farmer didn’t miss for a solo home run to put the Twins back in front 8-7.
Tarnok came back out to start the eighth and allowed a leadoff walk to Jeffers. Taylor lined out on a soft fly to Gelof and Gallo flew out to Bleday for the first two outs. Correa followed with a double to put runners at second and third before Tarnok walked Solano to load the bases. As the A’s bullpen finally got busy, Tarnok lost Buxton on a 10-pitch at-bat for walk to force in a run. Kotsay would go back to his bullpen probably one batter too late and summon Sam Moll who struck out Kepler to escape with no further damage.
Oakland threatened in the eighth against Oliver Ortega. Soderstrom got the inning started with a single to left. He was erased on a ground out by Gelof who reached first safely. Peterson struck out for the second out, but Allen dropped down another perfect bunt for a single to put runners at first and second. They’d be left right there though as Rooker flew out to right for the final out of the inning.
Trevor May took over in the ninth and allowed a one-out triple to Castro. The Twins then worked the safety squeeze as Jeffers dropped down a bunt and was tagged out by May up the first base line. Castro scored to push the deficit to 10-7. Jhoan Duran retired the side in order in the ninth to end the game.
The A’s drop to 25-69 for the season and have now lost six-straight games. They will try to avoid a sweep Sunday with JP Sears matching up against Joe Ryan.