Twins 6, Athletics 1: Kurt Suzuki singled in the go-ahead run and Josh Willingham capped a three-run outburst in the eighth inning with a two-run blast as visiting Minnesota ended its 12-game losing streak against Oakland.
Phil Hughes (12-8) permitted one run on four hits while striking out seven in as many innings to improve to 8-3 on the road and 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in two August outings. Brian Dozier also went deep for the first time in 17 games to top the 20-homer mark for the first time in his career as the Twins defeated the Athletics for only the second time in their last 16 meetings.
Stephen Vogt singled in ex-Twin Sam Fuld for Oakland’s only run as the Athletics lost for only the second time in seven tries, but maintained their five-game lead in the American League West after the Los Angeles Angels lost to Boston. Luke Gregerson (2-2) saw his 15-outing scoreless streak come to an end after he was tagged for three runs in the eighth.
Dozier staked Minnesota in the first when he drove a first-pitch fastball from Athletics starter Jason Hammel over the fence in left, but Oakland evened it in the bottom half as Vogt plated Fuld. Hammel and Hughes each buckled down thereafter, not allowing a baserunner past second over the next five frames.
Minnesota broke up the pitchers' duel in the eighth against Gregerson when Danny Santana singled and scored on Suzuki’s one-out hit before Willingham hammered a hanging 2-1 slider over the fence in left. The Twins added some insurance in the ninth off former starter Jesse Chavez on Suzuki’s RBI infield single and Kennys Vargas’ bases-loaded walk.
GAME NOTEBOOK: After losing each of his first four starts with Oakland while posting a 9.53 ERA following his July 5 trade from the Chicago Cubs, Hammel is 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA over his last two turns after allowing one run on four hits over 6 1/3 frames on Sunday. … Athletics 3B Josh Donaldson singled off Casey Fien in the eighth to extend his hitting streak against the Twins to 17 games. … Oakland relievers were charged with seven runs over the final two games of this series after seeing its 29 2/3-inning scoreless snapped on Saturday.