Everything was going fine for the Athletics through seven innings Saturday at Target Field. Then the bottom of the eighth inning happened and it led to a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins.
Yusmeiro Petit walked Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco and gave up a single to left fielder Rob Refsnyder. The veteran reliever was pulled and Jake Diekman came in. That was when a Miguel Sanó crushed a three-run homer to right field to seal the deal.
A’s manager Bob Melvin had talked about how the ball carries in Minnesota, but didn’t entirely blame it on that. The bullpen wasn’t having a good day.
“[Sanó’s] strong, but it did look like the wind picked up blowing out to right field a little bit as the game went along,” Melvin said.
Melvin gave credit to the Twins’ bats for taking advantage of the A’s strong bullpen.
“Every now and then you’re going to get some balls up,” Melvin said. “The Refsnyder hit was off the end of the bat, but in credit, he fought it the other way. They beat our best two guys, sometimes that’s going to happen.”
Melvin admitted he thought Petit was fatigued and numbers were a factor when it came to pulling him.
“I’ll bring Diek in for anybody, I just thought Petit was tired,” Melvin said. “You look at his numbers, I think [Sano] was 3-for-27 with no homers off of left-handed pitching. So I’ll take Diekman on rights, left it doesn’t matter.”
“I mean, it’s never easy to swallow a game like that,” Melvin said. “Those are the guys that have been closing out games for us and it just didn’t happen today.”