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Protection lets Twins down once more in 7-6 loss to Athletics

Josh Donaldson appeared down at his glove in disbelief.

Pitcher Taylor Rogers had fielded a softly hit comebacker, spun and threw thigh-high to Donaldson, who was overlaying second base.

The ball was alleged to be en path to first base to complete an inning-ending double play. However Donaldson dropped Rogers’ throw.

As an alternative of inning over, it was runners on first and third with one out within the prime of the ninth of a tie sport.

Rogers then struck out Matt Chapman, however a wild pitch on strike three ended up scoring the decisive run within the Twins’ 7-6 loss to Oakland on Sunday.

A staff that benefited from favorable calls and took a three-run lead early squandered an opportunity at uncommon back-to-back victories with its personal bungles.

“We anticipate once we play the best way we play towards [Oakland], we will win a handful of video games. We’d even win a season sequence towards them,” supervisor Rocco Baldelli mentioned after the Twins completed their season sequence vs. the AL West-leading A’s 1-5. “It has been the furthest factor from that. Finally, the outcomes should not good.”

The outcomes have been wanting OK early on. Oakland took a 1-0 lead within the second inning on a Matt Olson double and a single by Chapman, however he was thrown out making an attempt to stretch his single right into a double to maintain the A’s from an even bigger inning towards Kenta Maeda. Max Kepler responded with a three-run homer within the backside of the inning, then added a sacrifice fly within the fourth to place the Twins up 4-1.

But it surely unraveled from there, principally from the Twins’ personal doing. Baldelli left Maeda within the sport to start out the fifth inning despite the fact that the righthander had been coping with some groin tightness, sufficient to warrant getting Jorge Alcala warming within the fourth.

Baldelli mentioned Maeda was adamant he might pitch by means of it and had even carried out so beforehand in his profession. However he gave up 4 consecutive hits and departed for Tyler Duffey with a run in, no out and the bases loaded.

After an RBI groundout made it 4-3, Ben Rortvedt — who simply entered the sport at catcher for an injured Willians Astudillo — made the definition of a rookie mistake. Ramon Laureano hit a grounder to shortstop Andrelton Simmons, who threw residence. Elvis Andrus was caught in a rundown. However as a substitute of chasing him all the best way again to 3rd with Mark Canha already on the base, Andrus threw again to Donaldson after which did not transfer totally out of the best way — giving Andrus the chance to throw a shoulder into the catcher and draw an obstruction name. Andrus scored an unearned run to tie the rating, and Chapman adopted with a go-ahead sacrifice fly.

“If you get in a rundown, I am out in my head. So robotically I all the time attempt to discover a manner go get out of the state of affairs,” mentioned Andrus, a 13-year veteran. “It often occurs with younger guys, and guys who have not been within the league who do not know me but. As quickly as I noticed the chance, I simply took it.”

Donaldson’s protection lapsed within the seventh inning as effectively, when he overran a grounder, an infield hit that helped Oakland rating one other run. And despite the fact that Simmons smacked a two-run homer within the backside of the eighth to tie the rating, Donaldson’s ninth-inning error made all of it for naught.

“He takes his protection fairly critically,” shortstop Simmons mentioned of Donaldson. “You do not need to make a mistake. It occurs. … Generally it occurs on the incorrect time. That is life generally.”

Donaldson muttered to himself between chomps on his gum. However the brunt of his anger wasn’t directed at himself and even the baseball gods.

After leering at his betraying glove and touchdown a punch in it, he used it to assist escort the ball from the place it had rolled previous him again off the sector.

However not earlier than he appeared down at it as soon as extra — this time with the ball nestled securely inside — and yelled.

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