Jonathan Lucroy hit the 13,000th home run in Oakland Athletics franchise history Saturday night, a three-run shot that paved the way for a 6-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis.
Right-hander Mike Fiers (10-6) remained unbeaten in four starts since joining the A’s earlier in the month, limiting the Twins to one run in 5 2/3 innings en route to Oakland’s second straight win after a loss in the series opener Thursday.
Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves (0-2), making just his second major-league start, took the loss.
The bottom of the Oakland lineup did a majority of the damage against four Twins pitchers, beginning in the second when Chad Pinder singled, took second on a two-out walk to Ramon Laureano and scored on a single by Lucroy, who bats ninth.
Mark Canha joined the fun in the fourth, singling between another Pinder hit and another Laureano walk. Even though Pinder was thrown out trying to advance to third on Canha’s hit, Lucroy came through with the franchise’s milestone blast to open a 4-0 lead.
The homer was Lucroy’s third of the season.
Gonsalves, who gave up four runs in 1 1/3 innings in his debut Monday against the Chicago White Sox, worked five innings this time, allowing four runs and seven hits. He walked four and struck out two.
The Twins rallied within 4-2 on solo home runs by Miguel Sano, his 12th, in the fourth inning and Tyler Austin, also his 12th, in the seventh.
Minnesota then put the potential tying runs on base with one out in the seventh before Jeurys Familia, Oakland’s third pitcher of the inning, struck out Logan Forsythe and got Eddie Rosario on a fly ball to the fence in left field to retain the two-run lead.
Familia followed up with a scoreless eighth, and closer Blake Treinen mopped up with a hitless ninth.
In the meantime, the A’s had tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth on a third hit by Pinder and consecutive RBI doubles by Matt Olson and Laureano.
Fiers was pulled two outs into the sixth inning, having given up five hits and two walks. He struck out seven.
The one run he allowed brought his total in four starts for Oakland to four. The A’s are 4-0 in his starts, with Fiers getting credit for three of the wins.
Lucroy’s four RBIs matched a season-high, set twice previously.
Matt Chapman joined Pinder with three hits for the A’s, who began the day 1 1/2 games behind the front-running Houston Astros in the American League West.
Austin and Joe Mauer had two hits apiece for the Twins, whose series against the A’s is their first of the season.
—Field Level Media