A's beat Twins 8-2, increase lead in AL West

Oakland Athletics' Coco Crisp, left, is congratulated by Yoenis Cespedes after scoring on a single by Jed Lowrie off Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Diamond in the third inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

September 12, 2013 1:25:48 PM PDT
A.J. Griffin allowed just two hits in seven innings and the Oakland Athletics beat the Minnesota Twins 8-2 Thursday afternoon to increase their division lead heading into a crucial weekend series.

Josh Reddick homered and had three RBIs for Oakland, which has a 3½ game lead over idle Texas in the American League West. It is Oakland's largest lead over the Rangers since Aug. 3. The teams are to scheduled play a three-game series this weekend in the Lone Star State.

Oswaldo Arcia homered for Minnesota, which has lost six of eight.

In winning his fourth straight start, Griffin (14-9) struck out eight and walked just one batter.

Making his first start since being recalled from Triple-A, Minnesota starter Scott Diamond (5-11) allowed five runs - four earned - in 4 2-3 innings.