OAKLAND, CALIF. – Bartolo Colon was four outs away from recording his first victory with the Twins, his 10th major league team.
But the Twins bullpen imploded again in what became a 6-5, 12-inning loss to Oakland. Still, it was Colon's best outing in three starts since the Twins acquired the 44-year-old.
Colon lasted 6 ⅓ innings, giving up three runs on eight hits with one strikeout. He issued one walk, his first in 15 ⅓ innings with the Twins.
"Looked particularly sharp early," manager Paul Molitor said. "Threw a lot of strikes, relied on his fastball, movement, changing speeds on it with the two-seamer and the four-seamer. He got deep in the game and came out with the lead. He gave us a chance to win. He did his job."
Colon said he mixed in some sliders and changeups to keep hitters honest. He's normally all fastballs.
"I felt good," said Colon, who pitched for Oakland in 2012 and '13, going 28-15 with a 2.99 ERA. "I felt like this is one of my second homes. I felt good out there and I felt it went well."
Rogers seeks rebound
If there's healing in laughter, Twins lefthander Taylor Rogers might need to visit a comedy club.
Monday, he gave up a three-run homer to Cody Bellinger in a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers to begin this eight-game road trip. Saturday, he was asked to get a four-out save while closer Brandon Kintzler rested, but Rogers never recorded an out in the ninth inning, giving up a two-run, walk-off homer to Rajai Davis.
Sunday, he got the first two outs in the eighth before a walk and a single put two runners on. He was lifted for Ryan Pressly, who gave up a tying two-run double to Matt Chapman.
Those two runs raised Rogers' season ERA to 3.79 in 47 outings. It was at 1.93 five games ago, but he has given up nine earned runs over his past three innings.
"I need to get out of California," he joked. "I know that much."
Sorry, there are two more games left, so he might be needed again. He will have to refine his control his next time out.
His fastball to Davis was supposed to be away but got too much of the plate. Against Bellinger, he left an 0-2 curveball over the middle of the plate.
Sunday, he issued his sixth walk in seven games, to Ryon Healy on four pitches. Rogers had seven walks in his first 40 games.
"I still have confidence," Rogers said. "You're not going to go through a whole season without a stretch here and there. So it's trying to minimize it and not make it more games. Limit it to just the California stretch."
With Jaime Garcia off to the Bronx, the Twins appear to need a starter for Thursday when they open a six-game homestand against Texas.
Options at Class AAA Rochester include Kyle Gibson, who was sent down when Garcia was acquired, and veteran Dillon Gee, who is 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts with the Red Wings after being signed as a minor league free agent.
While Gee looks overdue for a look, a scheduled off day on Monday means that the Twins could bring Adalberto Mejia back on four days' rest and put off the decision.
• Outfielder Byron Buxton left Saturday's game with Rochester when he suffered a leg cramp during his final at-bat. But he was in the lineup on Sunday for the Red Wings and homered, going 1-for-4. He is 5-for-12 in three rehabilitation games. Molitor said Buxton remains on track to return to the team Tuesday in San Diego.
• Levi Michael walked with the bases loaded in the 21st inning as Class AA Chattanooga beat Birmingham 2-1 Saturday night, a game two innings shy of the Southern League record. Outfielder Max Murphy, a Cooper High School product and a Twins ninth-round draft pick in 2014, was the winning pitcher.