Twins fall to A's on the road
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Left-hander Jon Lester pitched his fourth career shutout, and first baseman Stephen Vogt hit two-run homer, lifting the Oakland A's to a 3-0 victory Thursday night against the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a four-game series at the O.co Coliseum.
Making his second start for the A's since being traded July 31 to Oakland from Boston, Lester allowed just three hits and recorded his 11th career complete game. Lester struck out eight and walked two, improving to 2-0 with the A's and 12-7 overall. He threw 122 pitches.
The A's (70-44) beat Minnesota for the 10th straight time overall, the longest streak against the Twins in Oakland history, and for the fourth consecutive time this season. They beat the Twins (51-62) at home for the seventh straight time, tying an Oakland record.
Lester, who pitched a no-hitter for Boston against Kansas City on May 19, 2008, had a perfect game through five innings Thursday. But former A's catcher Kurt Suzuki lined a leadoff single to left in the sixth, ending Lester's bit for perfection and no-hitter No. 2.
First baseman Chris Colabello singled to center, moving Suzuki to second base. Lester struck out shortstop Eduardo Escobar and center fielder Danny Santana, but he walked second baseman Brian Dozier, whose long blast to left earlier in the at-bat went just left of the foul pole. Lester got third baseman Trevor Plouffe to ground out, ending the inning and stranding three Twins runners.
Vogt hit his sixth home run of the season and first since July 28 against Houston.
Twins right-hander Yohan Pino, a 30-year-old rookie, gave up three runs on six hits over 5 2/3 innings in his ninth career start. Pino (1-4) struck out two, walked one and threw 96 pitches.
The A's grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning when second baseman Alberto Callaspo led off with a walk and Vogt crushed Pino's 2-2 fastball for a home run into the right-center-field seats, snapping his 0-for-23 slump. A's designated hitter John Jaso snapped an 0-for-18 slump with a bloop single with two outs but was stranded.
Oakland added a run in the fourth inning, extending its lead to 3-0. Left fielder Brandon Moss lined a leadoff double off the right-center wall, ending his 0-for-18 skid, and catcher Derek Norris brought him home with a double down the left field line.
NOTES: Oakland SS Jed Lowrie (bruised right index finger) was out of the lineup for the third consecutive game. He was injured Monday while fielding a ground ball in the fourth inning against Tampa Bay. The injury affects Lowrie's throwing, but manager Bob Melvin said Lowrie likely will start at shortstop Friday. ... A's 1B Kyle Blanks (torn left calf) ran the bases for the second time in three days, and he likely will begin a rehab assignment Saturday or Sunday, Melvin said. ... Twins 1B Joe Mauer (right oblique strain) had an off day Thursday during his rehab assignment with Class A Cedar Rapids. He went 1-for-6 in his first two games. ... The Twins have yet to name a starting pitcher for Saturday's game against the A's. RHP Trevor May, who started Monday for Triple-A Rochester, is one option.