Joey Gallo hit a two-run, tiebreaking home run in the top of the ninth inning Friday night, delivering the visiting Minnesota Twins a 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game series
Gallo, who connected for his 16th of the season, went deep off the Athletics' seventh pitcher, Shintaro Fujinami (5-8), two batters after Donovan Solano led off the ninth with a double
Gallo had entered the game as a pinch hitter two innings earlier.
Oakland rallied within 5-4 in the last of the ninth on a two-out, RBI single by JJ Bleday. However, with the potential tying run at second and the potential winning run at first, Twins closer Jhoan Duran got Seth Brown to ground out to second, nailing down his 13th save
Griffin Jax (5-6), who worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth, was credited with the win.
Minnesota ended a three-game skid while Oakland took its fifth loss in a row.
After an early exchange of leads, neither team had scored since the fourth inning before both tallied in the ninth.
Minnesota scored twice in the first off A's starter Ken Waldichuk on a Byron Buxton sacrifice fly and Kyle Farmer RBI triple, then again in the fourth to tie the game at 3-3 on an RBI double by Edouard Julien.
In between, the A's drew within 2-1 in the second on a run-scoring single by Nick Allen, then took a 3-2 lead in the third on an RBI double by Zack Gelof and a following sacrifice fly from Jace Peterson.
The hit for Gelof, which came within inches of clearing the right field fence, was the first of his big-league career in the second at-bat of his major league debut.
Tyler Soderstrom, who also was debuting for the A's in the first game after the All-Star break, went hitless with a walk in four plate appearances.
Solano had two hits and scored twice for the Twins, who moved into first place in the AL Central with the win. Julien and Carlos Correa added two hits apiece for the visitors
Shea Langeliers had a triple for the A's, who were out-hit 10-7.
Neither starting pitcher got a decision. The Twins' Kenta Maeda lasted just three innings, charged with three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six. Waldichuk went 3 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, three hits and two walks. He fanned five
--Field Level Media