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Costly error by Barton in 10th dooms A's

May 19, 2011 1:42:30 AM PDT
Twins 4, Athletics 3, 10 innings

First baseman Daric Barton's first error in 25 games put Oakland in a bind in the 10th inning. His decision to cut off Conor Jackson's throw home two batters later hurt the Athletics even more.

Trevor Plouffe hit a sacrifice fly for his season-high third RBI, and Delmon Young scored easily when Jackson's throw was stopped by Barton near first base, helping the Minnesota Twins beat the A's 4-3 on Wednesday night.

Young singled to open the inning and advanced to third when Barton threw Alexi Casilla's bunt into the outfield. After Denard Span grounded out, Plouffe hit a fly ball to right field off Brian Fuentes (1-4).

"I probably shouldn't have cut that ball," Barton said. "It was one of those things where I thought that if I cut it I might have (Casilla) at third and try to stop the inning. I couldn't get a grip on it."

Barton just missed a chance to redeem himself in the bottom of the inning, but his fly to deep right field was caught on the warning track by Minnesota's Michael Cuddyer.

Barton went into the game tied with St. Louis' Albert Pujols for most errors among first baseman in the majors, but had not made a defensive miscue in 24 games before his gaffe Wednesday.

It was a play compounded later by his decision not to let Jackson's throw go home.

"I would rather have seen that go through," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "I honestly don't think he would have got him, but I would have liked to seen it go through. There's really no value in cutting that."

Joe Nathan (1-1) got two outs for the win, pitching out of trouble in the ninth. Matt Capps got three outs for his seventh save.

Justin Morneau also drove in a run for the Twins, who have won two straight following a nine-game losing streak.

Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in two runs and Hideki Matsui added an RBI single for the A's, who fell a game behind Texas at the top of the AL West.

Twins starter Carl Pavano, who was looking for his 100th career win, allowed three runs -- one earned -- on six hits. He struck out two and did not walk a batter. He made his first career start in Oakland and has now started in every AL stadium.

A's starter Brandon McCarthy also lasted seven innings, giving up three runs and nine hits. He struck out one and did not walk a batter.

McCarthy is winless in his last seven starts.

Morneau singled home a run in the first to give the Twins the early edge. Morneau, who has been struggling all season, went 2 for 4 and is hitting .485 (16 for 33) with 13 RBIs his last 10 games against the A's.

Kouzmanoff singled home two runs in the second to put the A's on top 2-1.

Plouffe, whose throwing error led to the A's first two runs, came back to drive in two runs in the third for a 3-2 Twins lead.

"This is his chance to go out and play," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He has to go out and take advantage of it."

Matsui's RBI single in the sixth tied it.

NOTES: The Twins hung a No. 3 jersey in their dugout to honor the memory of slugger Harmon Killebrew. The team will continue the practice the rest of the season. Players are also wearing patches in his honor on their uniform sleeves. ... Morneau is a career .313 hitter, with 43 RBIs, against the A's. ... A's RHP Michael Wuertz has not allowed a run in 10 of his 11 appearances this year. ... Twins' LHP Glen Perkins has not allowed an earned run in 18 of his 21 appearances. ... Barton had gone 24 consecutive games without committing an error. He still leads the majors with six errors by a first baseman.


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