Sano 3-run homer propels struggling Twins past A’s 5-4


MINNEAPOLIS — Miguel Sanó snapped a 19-game homerless drought with a three-run homer in the eighth inning and the Minnesota Twins came back to beat the Oakland Athletics 5-4 on Saturday.

Sanó pounded his chest and gestured to his teammates as he rounded the bases after his homer off Oakland left-hander Jake Diekman just reached the overhang in right field. Sanó was hitting just .114 this season before the homer, which was just his second of the year and first since the third game of the season.

It was the big hit Minnesota needed to snap its five-game losing streak and finally offer some relief for its struggling offense. The Twins had been 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position on Saturday before Sanó’s homer and entered the day hitting .229 with runners in scoring position.

Alex Colomé (2-3) pitched a scoreless inning in relief of José Berríos. Hansel Robles secured his first save of the year despite a one-out double from Chad Pinder in the ninth.

Diekman (2-1) pitched 1/3 of an inning for the Athletics.

Mark Canha homered for the second straight game for Oakland and Matt Olson added a two-run shot. The Athletics have hit six home runs in the first two games of the series and started the day leading the American League with 53 homers, just three behind Atlanta for the major league lead.


Athletics: 1B Mitch Moreland was out of the lineup as he deals with side tightness. Manager Bob Melvin said Moreland was feeling sore after sustaining the injury in Friday’s game and the team would likely make a determination on his status after the game.

Twins: OF Jake Cave was placed on the 60-day injured list with a stress reaction in his low back. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Cave had been dealing with back soreness. He’s hit .167 in 31 games this season. To replace Cave, Minnesota selected the contract of OF Rob Refsnyder from Triple-A St. Paul.


RHP Chris Bassitt (3-2, 3.54 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale for Oakland. Minnesota will start RHP Kenta Maeda (2-2, 5.08). Bassitt is 3-0 with a 2.92 ERA and .207 opponent batting average over his last six starts. Maeda gave up seven runs and eight hits in three innings in a start at Oakland on April 21.

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