A’s blast five homers in drubbing of Twins
With each Oakland drive that soared over the outfield wall at the Metrodome on Friday,
That comfort translated into the first major league victory for one of the
Mortensen, acquired in the trade that sent
When the game was over, however, no Oakland player had a bigger smile on his face than Mortensen. The 24-year-old, who saved the official lineup card and the red cap that teams wore in honor of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, finally felt like he was able to throw his fastball, curveball and changeup well in the same game.
“Once I can get that perfected, the confidence just goes up,” said Mortensen, who was making only his third start and fourth major league appearance. “Being able to see that I can get a win against a team like this, a really potent hitting team, definitely helps out.”
And unlike in his first two starts, Mortensen (1-2) avoided giving up the big inning. While Minnesota’s
“The other two games, he has been impressive and had one very bad inning,” Oakland manager Bob Geren said. “Tonight was an example of him not having that bad inning. It could have been early with the leadoff homer, but he rebounded and got out of that inning.”
Once he did, the Oakland offense took care of the rest. The five home runs was the most in a single game since hitting six homers at Arizona last June.
Cust hit the first of Oakland’s homers – a massive shot to right-center that was estimated at 442 feet – to tie the game at 1 in the top of the second. The
That early deficit helped deal a blow to Minnesota’s hopes of catching Detroit in the American League Central. Minnesota, which lost for the sixth time in nine games, could have pulled within 4 1/2 games after the
“Not a good night pitching-wise, I think we all saw we got hammered,” said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire, whose team again fell below .500. “They put balls in the seats. Blacky just couldn’t make a pitch. I don’t know how many homers he gave up. I don’t know how many walks we had. I quit counting. Too many walks and too many hits. We get behind like that and it just got ugly.”
Blackburn is now 1-7 with a 7.36 ERA since the All-Star break. While he struggled, Minnesota relievers
Barton homered in the fifth and Suzuki homered in the sixth as Oakland opened a 12-1 lead. Ten of Oakland’s 17 hits went for extra bases.
NOTES: Oakland RHP