A's blank Twins, increase divisional lead
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Bartolo Colon turned in six shutout innings and the Oakland Athletics moved their magic number down to two by taking advantage of a sloppy Minnesota Twins team in an 11-0 triumph on Friday.
Colon (17-6) scattered just five hits and a walk while striking out eight over another stellar outing. He was backed by plenty of offensive support, some of which the Twins provided on their own.
Minnesota committed four errors on the evening, with its third of the night contributing to a five-run inning for Oakland.
Derek Norris had two hits and three runs scored, while Josh Donaldson and Yoenis Cespedes each contributed home runs to help Oakland to its 11th win in 14 games and move the team one step closer to the AL West division title.
"Similar to last year, we've really kind of hit our stride in the second half," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin.
Andrew Albers (2-4) ended on the hook for eight runs -- although only three were earned. He allowed eight hits over 4 2/3 frames in the Twins' eighth setback in 10 games.
"Unfortunately for him, if we just make a couple plays behind him, different story," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "You've got to make plays and we didn't make plays."
The game completely unraveled in the fifth for Minnesota. Eduardo Escobar made a diving stop on Chris Young's hard hit grounder with the bases loaded, but the inning continued after the third baseman's throw sailed wide of first base. Two runs came in on the two-out error, ending Albers' outing. Ryan Presley took over and allowed an RBI single to Alberto Callaspo, who later came in to score on a wild pitch to make it 9-0 Oakland.
Donaldson added a two-run shot in the sixth to account for the final margin.
Cespedes began a three-run second inning with a solo blast to begin the frame. Norris followed with a double and later scored on a base hit from Reddick, who was then able to come around and make it 3-0 when Twins right fielder Oswaldo Garcia botched Daric Barton's ensuing base hit.
Callaspo knocked in a run in the fourth, with Norris coming home after singling to start the frame and then swiping second base.
The A's have won nine of their last 11 meetings with the Twins ... Minnesota had six hits to Oakland's 11 ... The Twins were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position ... Gardenhire remains three wins shy of 1,000 for his career.
09/21 03:00:56 ET