A's wild card delayed with 5-1 loss to Twins
By GIDEON RUBIN, Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Oakland will have to take its bubbly on the road.
Kyle Gibson allowed one run over 7 1/3 innings, Jake Cave hit a two-run homer and the Minnesota Twins beat the Athletics 5-1 Sunday, preventing Oakland from clinching an AL wild-card berth in its last regular-season home game.
“I think it was a little disappointing,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “A lot of times we put on our best shows late in games, unfortunately it didn’t happen today.”
Oakland leads Tampa Bay by 7½ games and needs one win or a Rays loss to clinch its first playoff berth in four years. The A’s remained 1½ games behind the New York Yankees, who have clinched a wild-card berth, and fell 4½ games back of AL West-leading Houston.
After going 50-31 for its best home record since 2013, the A’s finish with three-game series at Seattle and the Los Angeles Angels. Oakland is 60-26 since mid-June.
“It would have been nice to clinch, but we weren’t changing anything up or anything like that,” A’s first baseman Matt Olson said.
Gibson (9-13) gave up seven hits and three walks. Trevor May struck out Ramon Laureano with two on in the eighth and pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth for his first big league save.
Minnesota finished 29-52 on the road.
Oakland won two of three despite going 0 for 21 with runners in scoring position in the series, including seven at-bats Sunday.
Trevor Cahill (6-4) allowed five runs — three earned — and five hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Cave hit a two-run homer in the first, but Olson cut the lead in half in the second with his 28th homer.
Minnesota added three runs in the fourth after Robbie Grossman singled with one out and Tyler Austin hit a potential double-play grounder to third baseman Matt Chapman, who threw the ball to the left of second baseman Chad Pinder and into right field for his 19th error.
“I was worried about the catch and I didn’t pick up my target,” Chapman said. “I think I had a little more time, I might have rushed my throw because I wanted to turn the double play. It was my fault that three runs scored so it doesn’t really feel good.”
Max Kepler hit an RBI single, Ehire Adrianza chased Cahill with a run-scoring double and Chris Gimenez greeted Shawn Kelley with a sacrifice fly.
“For the last couple of years we’ve seen people celebrate when we’re in town,” Gibson said. “To be able to finish off the season and not have to watch anybody celebrate, kind of nice.”
A crowd of 35,754 raised Oakland’s season total at home to 1,527,588.
Joe Mauer was 2 for 4. His fifth-inning single was his 3,072nd time reaching base, tying Harmon Killebrew’s franchise record. Twins manager Paul Molitor said he’s been communicating regularly with Mauer about his role in this week’s six-game homestand. Mauer is contemplating retirement.
“We haven’t finalized how many games he will play throughout the course of the week, and which game of this particular campaign will be his last one,” Molitor said.
Twins: C Mitch Garver (concussion) played catch on the field, but Molitor said it has not been determined whether he will play again this year. Garver has been out since he took a foul tip to his mask on Sept. 12. … Molitor expects to make decisions on the playing status of 3B Miguel Sano (lower left leg bruise) and 2B Logan Forsythe (left knee inflammation) on Tuesday.
Twins: Minnesota has not announced a starting pitcher for Monday’s series opener against Detroit.
Athletics: RHP Daniel Mengden (7-6, 4.00 ERA) will make his first start since June 23 in Monday’s series opener in Seattle. Mengden is 1-0 with 1.83 ERA in five relief appearances since being called up from Triple-A Nashville on Aug. 27.
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