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Athletics’ rare hitting blast beats Twins 5-2

OAKLAND, CA. — Dylan Bundy didn’t pitch long on Tuesday, but it went well. Josh Winder pitched a little too long, and it’s not.

The result was the end of the Twins’ mastery of athleticism and a 5-2 loss at Oakland Coliseum.

Bundy returned from the COVID roster with three shutout innings in his first outing since May 4. The right-handed veteran wasn’t sharp, allowing two hits and two walks, but he shook off trouble in each of his innings.

When Bundy’s speed dropped noticeably in round three, never exceeding 90 mph, the Twins switched to Winder, the rookie right-hander, and his lack of sharpness was even more evident. Elvis Andrus doubled and Kevin Smith connected on a 395-foot homer, among the first four batters faced by Winder. The A’s charged the bases in Winder’s second inning, but did not score.

And in the seventh inning of a tie, Winder’s fourth working inning, the rookie walked Jed Lowrie on five pitches to open the inning and hit Ramon Laureano in the shoulder with a fastball. Pitching coach Wes Johnson visited the mound, but no reliever warmed up like him. When the game resumed, Seth Brown doubled the tiebreaker run and Sean Murphy curled a single into short center field, scoring two more runs and ultimately producing a stir in the Twins dugout.

Still, Winder faced three more batters, prompting Andrus to hit a double play before giving up back-to-back singles and triggering a pitching change, with Caleb Thielbar taking over to record the third out. In all, Winder allowed five runs on nine hits, adding more than one run to his ERA — from 2.45 to 3.68 — in his toughest outing as a big leaguer to date.

The five points tied the A’s in their first four games against Minnesota this season, all wins for the Twins.

While one rookie found life difficult on Tuesday, another continued to thrive – ironically, as his current tenure as Twin may be coming to an end. Royce Lewis started the third inning with a brace and hit his second home run in the fifth inning, on the eve of his possible demotion if Carlos Correa is reinstated to the active roster.

Lewis also came to the plate with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, but pulled out to end the threat.

Gary Sanchez homered for the second straight game, the first time he’s done it as a twin. Sanchez is averaging .317 at bat over the last five games and 12 of his last 14 hits have been for extra bases.

But, as has been the case for 13 of their last 15 homers, both of the Twins’ outbursts were solo shots, and they couldn’t add any extra runs against A’s right-hander James Kaprielian and three A’s relievers. Oakland.

The Twins will look to win a three-game series in Oakland for the first time since 2010 in Wednesday’s Day Finals, starting at 2:37 p.m. CDT. Former A right-hander Sonny Gray will face rookie right-hander Daulton Jefferies.

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