OAKLAND, Calif. — Multiple times Monday night, the Oakland Coliseum scoreboard promoted the upcoming 50th anniversary reunion of the 1972 World Series champions of the A’s.
As a tribute, the Twins played a little throwback baseball.
Gary Sanchez crushed a 433-foot home run and Jorge Polanco brought Royce Lewis home, but the decisive run in the Twins’ 3-1 victory over Oakland was set up by the most old-fashioned strategy: a sacrificial bunt.
Those 1972 A’s, one of the last AL teams to record 100 sacrificial bunts in a season, would be so proud.
When Lewis walked to start the fifth inning of a tie game, Nick Gordon faced off and laid down a bunt which pitcher Zach Logue lined up and threw to first base, only the Twins’ second hit sacrifice bunt – and the fifth bunt of any kind – this season. Three pitches later, Byron Buxton snapped through the hole at shortstop, and Lewis easily scored the go-ahead.
BOXSCORE: Twins 3, Oakland 1
Against the lowly A’s, who managed just four points in three games last week at Target Field, even single-point strategies are effective. Chris Archer held Oakland to two hits and a single run – Elvis Andrus, 10 for 20 in his career against the right-hander, doubled up Seth Brown, who had walked – while relievers Yennifer Cano, Griffin Jax and Tyler Duffey combined for five scoreless innings on just two hits. Duffey made his first save of 2022 and the fifth of his career.
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