Suzuki and Willingham Help Twins Snap 12-Game Skid vs. A’s
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Leave it to a pair of former Oakland Athletics to end one of the worst skids the Minnesota Twins have ever had against another club.
Kurt Suzuki hit a tiebreaking double and Josh Willingham added two-run homer in the eighth inning, and the Twins snapped a 12-game losing streak to Oakland by beating the A's 6-1 on Sunday.
"They've had their way with us," said Willingham, who played for the A's in 2011. "If we would've come in here and lost today, that would've been a very big disappointment. We needed to get this win."
Brian Dozier connected for his 20th homer in the first before Suzuki and Willingham each had a big hit against Luke Gregerson (2-2) in the eighth. Minnesota scored two more in the ninth to avoid a four-game sweep with its first win over the A's since last September.
Only 13-game losing streaks to the New York Yankees (2002-2003) and Texas Rangers (1998-1999) top the Twins' skid to Oakland.
Phil Hughes (12-8) allowed four hits in seven innings for his second straight victory. He came out because of a cracked nail on his right index finger, which he glued back on in the clubhouse -- something he said he has done throughout his career and shouldn't keep him from making his next start.
Stephen Vogt's RBI single in the first accounted for the A's only run. The poor offensive effort wasted a second straight superb start from Jason Hammel, who gave up four hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings.
Hammel, who beat Tampa Bay his last time out, had lost his first four starts with Oakland after being acquired in a July 4 trade with the Chicago Cubs that also sent Jeff Samardzija to the AL West leaders.
After they each allowed a run in the first, Hammel and Hughes quickly corrected most of the mistakes they made the rest of the way. But the biggest blunder might have been a self-inflicted one by the Twins.
With two runners on in the seventh, Jordan Schafer whiffed at a bunt and Eduardo Nunez was tagged out between third and home. Fernando Abad struck out Schafer on the next pitch.
Minnesota more than made up for the mistake in the eighth and ninth innings.
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