Twins 4, Athletics 3(10)

Trevor Plouffe was able to make amends for his mistake. Daric

Barton did not.

Plouffe hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning for his

season-high third RBI, helping the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland

Athletics 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Pinch-hitter Delmon Young singled to open the inning and

advanced to third when Barton tried for the force at second base on

Alexi Casilla’s bunt but threw the ball into the outfield. After

Denard Span grounded out, Plouffe hit a flyball to right field off

Brian Fuentes (1-4).

”That’s baseball,” Plouffe said. ”Most teams will capitalize

on other people’s mistakes. They did when I made the error and we

did when they made the error.”

Barton came within 10 feet of tying the game in the 10th but

Michael Cuddyer made the catch on the warning track, ending the

game.

”I was just trying to figure out if I was going to catch it in

the air or let it drop,” Barton said of his error. ”I had him at

second and just threw it away. Bad throw.”

Joe Nathan (1-1) got two outs for the win, pitching out of

trouble in the ninth. Matt Capps got three outs for his seventh

save.

”Nathan made some great pitches and that’s what we’re looking

for him to do,” Twins’ manager Ron Gardenhire said. ”We have been

keeping him away from situations to let him get his feet wet but

it’s time to push the envelope. We need him to make big pitches in

the seventh and eighth innings.”

Justin Morneau also drove in a run for the Twins, who have won

two straight following a nine-game losing streak.

”As easy as you lose games you can win games,” Plouffe

said.

Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in two runs and Hideki Matsui added an

RBI single for the A’s, who fell a game behind Texas at the top of

the AL West.

”When you play that close, that late, you have to do everything

right to win,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. ”I never believe one

play here or there necessarily wins a game when you play 27 or even

30 outs.”

Twins starter Carl Pavano, who was looking for his 100th career

win, allowed three runs – one earned – on six hits. He struck out

two and did not walk a batter. He made his first career start in

Oakland and has now started in every AL stadium.

A’s starter Brandon McCarthy also lasted seven innings, giving

up three runs on nine hits. He struck out one and did not walk a

batter.

McCarthy is winless in his last seven starts.

Morneau singled home a run in the first to give the Twins the

early edge. Morneau, who has been struggling all season, went 2 for

4 and is hitting .485 (16 for 33) with 13 RBIs over his last 10

games against the A’s.

Kouzmanoff singled home two runs in the second to put the A’s on

top 2-1.

Plouffe, whose throwing error led to the A’s first two runs,

came back to drive in two runs in the third for a 3-2 Twins

lead.

”That’s what you want to do,” Plouffe said. ”I was fortunate

enough to come up with runners on second and third and less than

two outs twice.”

Matsui’s RBI single in the sixth tied it.

NOTES: The Twins hung a No. 3 jersey in their dugout to honor

the memory of slugger Harmon Killebrew. The team will continue the

practice the rest of the season. Players are also wearing patches

in his honor on their uniform sleeves. … Morneau is a career .313

hitter, with 43 RBIs, against the A’s. … A’s RHP Michael Wuertz

has not allowed a run in 10 of his 11 appearances this year. …

Twins’ LHP Glen Perkins has not allowed an earned run in 18 of his

21 appearances. … Barton had gone 24 consecutive games without

committing an error. He still leads the majors with six errors by a

first baseman. … A’s OF Coco Crisp was not with the team because

of a family issue.