Lester nearly unhittable as Athletics blank Twins 3-0

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 8, 2014 - 9:20 AM

The newly acquired A’s lefty retired the first 15 batters on his way to a three-hitter.

– Brian Dozier smacked a high fly ball into the left field stands at O.co Coliseum on Thursday night, tying the score 3-3 and breaking up Jon Lester’s shutout.

Or so he thought.

“I guess the wind pushed it pretty good. Even after it landed, I thought it was fair,” Dozier said. “I guess not.”

Nope. The ball landed perhaps a foot or two foul, the home run didn’t count, and the Twins’ biggest threat died a few pitches later. Lester retired the first 15 batters he faced, and the final five, too, and recorded his fourth career shutout in the Oakland Athletics’ 3-0 victory over the Twins.

“He was painting,” Dozier said of the A’s new lefthanded ace, who was acquired from Boston at last week’s trade deadline. “Painting the corners, especially [with] that cutter. ... In and out with a cutter is pretty tough.”

Lester has been tough on the Twins before, but he has probably never been as effective as in the past couple of months, which explains why Oakland dealt away their cleanup hitter, Yoenis Cespedes, to get him July 31. In his past 10 starts, Lester has given up 10 earned runs, going 6-0 with a 1.21 ERA — including a 2-1 victory over the Twins in Fenway Park in June — over that time.

“He was really good,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He made pitches when he had to and got out of situations.”

Well, situation, singular. Only in the sixth inning did the Twins manage to put a runner on second base. Lester was perfect through five innings, and didn’t even give up so much as a well-hit ball.

After those 15 up and 15 down, nothing but pop-ups and strikeouts and weak grounders, were the Twins thinking what the rest in the announced crowd of 22,108 starting to think?

“Oh, yeah,” Dozier said. “We even mentioned it, so hopefully we kind of jinxed it there.”

Kurt Suzuki — who got a decent hand as he approached the plate for the first time, a small recognition of his seven years of contributions to the home team — led off the sixth inning by lining a cut fastball into left field, preventing Lester (12-7) from collecting his second career no-hitter.

The Twins mounted an actual threat after Suzuki’s single, with Chris Colabello following Suzuki’s single with one of his own. Lester responded by striking out Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana, but then made what looked like a fatal mistake, a four-seam fastball that Dozier applied plenty of backspin.

“I thought it was pretty much a home run, for sure. [When] it started out, I didn’t think it was going to get it anywhere close to the foul line,” Dozier said. “It’s disappointing. Frustrating to go from very high to very low, really quick.”

Dozier ended up walking to load the bases, but Lester escaped unscathed when Trevor Plouffe grounded out. The Twins managed only one more hit after that.

The A’s collected all the offense they needed against Yohan Pino (1-4). In the third inning, Stephen Vogt hit a shot high into the right-field stands that scored Alberto Callaspo, who had walked, in front of him. The home run not only gave Oakland the lead, but it broke an 0-for-23 slump by Vogt.

Brandon Moss’ slump wasn’t quite as long — just 0-for-18 — but he broke it too, with a leadoff double in the fourth inning. All-Star catcher Derek Norris followed with an RBI double, but Pino and the Twins bullpen didn’t crack again.

 

  • OAKLAND 3, TWINS 0

    Up next: 9:05 p.m. Friday at Oakland • TV:  FSN (96.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets 8 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Yankees 1
Detroit 5 FINAL
Baltimore 4
Toronto 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Cincinnati 2 FINAL
Cleveland 4
San Diego 3 FINAL
Seattle 4
Chicago WSox 6 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Kansas City 13 FINAL
Texas 2
Oakland 9 FINAL
San Francisco 2
Wisc-Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Milwaukee 8
Arizona 6 FINAL
Colorado 3
Univ of Minnesota 1 FINAL
Minnesota 3
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 105
Phoenix 105 FINAL
Orlando 100
Cleveland 120 FINAL
Toronto 112
Utah 84 FINAL
Boston 85
Charlotte 115 FINAL
Brooklyn 91
Denver 100 FINAL
Minnesota 85
Detroit 85 FINAL
New Orleans 88
LA Lakers 94 FINAL
Miami 100
Philadelphia 110 1st OT 3:35
Oklahoma City 110
Memphis 102 FINAL
Houston 100
Sacramento 66 4th Qtr 6:44
San Antonio 103
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
Golden State
Portland 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 3 FINAL
Winnipeg 1
NY Rangers 1 3rd Prd :47
Detroit 1
Pittsburgh 0 1st Prd 9:17
Colorado 0
Montreal 0 1st Prd 10:53
Anaheim 1
Longwood 65 FINAL
Presbyterian 61
Campbell 64 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 72
Liberty 70 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 80
Ohio State 77 FINAL
Penn State 67
Maine 66 FINAL
Albany 83
Duquesne 81 FINAL
Fordham 66
George Washington 67 FINAL
George Mason 51
Tennessee 78 FINAL
LSU 63
Notre Dame 71 FINAL
Louisville 59
SE Missouri St 74 FINAL
Morehead State 79
St Francis-PA 73 FINAL
Mount St Marys 58
Hartford 63 FINAL
New Hampshire 67
Wagner 68 FINAL
Robert Morris 91
Long Island 70 FINAL
St Francis-NY 79
La Salle 50 FINAL
Saint Josephs 55
Providence 79 FINAL
Seton Hall 66
UCF 45 FINAL
South Florida 74
Binghamton 57 FINAL
Stony Brook 62
UMBC 39 FINAL
Vermont 66
Sacred Heart 85 FINAL
Bryant 91
Richmond 56 FINAL
Massachusetts 53
Wake Forest 51 FINAL
Duke 94
Purdue 66 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Miami-Florida 67 FINAL
Pittsburgh 63
St Bonaventure 64 FINAL
Saint Louis 48
New Mexico St 69 FINAL
TX-Pan American 48
Houston 68 FINAL
Tulane 63
Howard 62 FINAL
NJIT 71
TCU 47 2nd Half 11:06
Oklahoma State 64
Cincinnati 40 2nd Half 9:15
Tulsa 33
USC 54 2nd Half 10:15
UCLA 66
Miss State 47 2nd Half 7:04
Vanderbilt 52
Utah State 47 2nd Half 6:14
Wyoming 69
St Johns 40 2nd Half 15:52
Marquette 34
SIU Edwardsville 28 2nd Half 17:50
Eastern Ill 39
Air Force 14 1st Half 6:41
Fresno State 23
Nebraska 12 1st Half 9:08
Illinois 11
Colorado State 24 1st Half 7:23
Nevada 18
Boise State 15 1st Half 12:15
San Jose St 8
San Diego St 10:00 PM
UNLV
Oregon 10:00 PM
Oregon State
UC Santa Barbara 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Toledo 64 FINAL
Northern Ill 68
Wake Forest 69 FINAL
Boston College 53
Eastern Illinois 35 FINAL
UT Martin 68
Austin Peay 69 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 72
Virginia Tech 57 FINAL
NC State 56
Massachusetts 55 FINAL
St Bonaventure 49
Auburn 71 FINAL
Florida 49
Penn State 63 FINAL
Indiana 68
Clemson 53 FINAL
Georgia Tech 80
Davidson 63 FINAL
La Salle 74
Loyola-Maryland 46 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Boston U 48 FINAL
Colgate 58
Coll of Charleston 58 FINAL
James Madison 107
Delaware 76 FINAL
Elon 77
Drexel 58 FINAL
Northeastern 42
Hofstra 75 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 76
Towson 56 FINAL
William & Mary 68
Miami-Ohio 55 FINAL
Akron 67
Ball State 85 FINAL
Central Michigan 69
Buffalo 55 FINAL
Bowling Green 47
Western Mich 65 FINAL
Eastern Michigan 74
Ohio U 69 FINAL
Kent State 56
Youngstown St 62 FINAL
Cleveland State 73
Illinois-Chicago 54 FINAL
Wright State 74
Alabama 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 66
Detroit 60 FINAL
Milwaukee 56
Purdue 58 FINAL
Wisconsin 56
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close