MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Jharel Cotton struck out nine in six innings and Ryon Healy hit his fourth home run of the season to lift the Oakland Athletics over the Minnesota Twins 8-5 on Thursday.
Cotton (3-3) gave up three runs and three hits, and Stephen Vogt had two hits and two RBIs to help the A’s avoid a three-game sweep. Santiago Casilla struck out Miguel Sano with the bases loaded in the ninth for his fifth save in six tries, Sano’s fourth strikeout of the afternoon.
Kyle Gibson (0-4) gave up four runs, eight hits and three walks in four innings. The Twins removed center fielder Byron Buxton in the sixth inning after he collided with the wall while making a catch.
The A’s, who had scored two runs or fewer in six of their previous nine games, tied a season high with 14 hits. Matt Joyce had two hits, two walks and an RBI for Oakland.
Danny Santana, Eddie Rosario and Eduardo Escobar homered for Minnesota, which threatened against an erratic Casilla in the ninth. The closer fell behind Sano 3-0, but battled back to win the confrontation when Sano tried to check his swing but couldn’t hold up.
Athletics: C Josh Phegley was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion after taking a foul tip off of the mask on Wednesday night. C Bruce Mawell was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take Phegley’s place. Manager Bob Melvin said Phegley felt markedly better the day after as opposed to a previous concussion. … LHP Sean Manaea (shoulder) did not throw a bullpen on Thursday morning as originally scheduled. Melvin said he had “a little soreness” and just played long toss.
Twins: Manager Paul Molitor said RHP Nick Tepesch will start on Saturday against the Red Sox. Tepesch has not pitched since being called up from Triple-A Rochester on April 24. Molitor said he likely would be limited to about 75 pitches.
BUXTON’S ROUGH DAY
Buxton has been sensational in center field all season long, but he got tied up on a breezy day in the first inning. Khris Davis hit a rocket out near the warning track that turned Buxton around. But he went the wrong way and couldn’t track it down, giving Davis a double and the A’s a 1-0 lead.
In the second inning, Buxton chased a drive from Vogt to the wall, but slammed into it so hard that the door to the bullpen opened.
In the fifth, he hit the wall hard again, knocking his hat off as he tracked down a deep drive from Matt Joyce. The Twins pulled him from the game for precautionary reasons, the team said. Buxton passed the initial concussion tests and will be evaluated again on Friday.
Healy went deep in the seventh inning and came to the plate with the bases loaded in the eighth. But after being called out on strikes by home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski, Healy argued vehemently that the curveball from Ryan Pressly was high.
Muchlinski ejected Healy after letting him for a for a few moments, but his day didn’t get any better after that. In the ninth inning, Vogt didn’t get a glove on a breaking ball from Casilla, and it hit the umpire right in the groin.
Muchlinski fell to the dirt, but remained in the game.
Athletics: Oakland heads back home for six straight games, starting with Detroit on Friday night. RHP Andrew Triggs (4-1, 1.84) will start the opener for the A’s.
Twins: Minnesota stays home for a series against the Boston Red Sox that begins on Friday with RHP Phil Hughes (4-1, 5.06) facing Red Sox LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (1-1, 2.70).
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.