Four extras after a pair of four-run innings carried the Twins to their fifth straight victory, their longest streak since April 2013:
— Nearly lost in the Twins’ comeback story Monday was the fact that they nearly surrendered their lead in the ninth inning. Glen Perkins came on for his ninth save, but it wasn’t as automatic as his other eight. After striking out Marcus Semien to open the inning, Josh Reddick lined a single up the middle. Billy Butler then popped to shallow right for the second out, but Perkins made a mistake to Stephen Vogt, and almost lost his save because of it. Vogt, who walloped a grand slam in the first inning, crushed another ball toward right field, but this one bounced off the wall about four feet from the top. Had it sailed about six feet to the right, it might have landed in the overhang, too. Instead, it was a run-scoring double, but made the score just 8-7, and Perkins struck out Craig Gentry to end the game.
— Really weird night for Phil Hughes, who pitched perhaps his worst game of the season — yet picked up the win. Hughes had not allowed a grand slam as a Twin, had not issued two walks in a game since last July 1, 26 starts ago, and had not given up a first-inning walk in more than a year. All those streaks ended Monday. But the righthander, a 16-game winner last year but 0-4 after his first five starts in 2015, toughened up after the first inning, and retired 15 of 18 batters at one point, allowing the Twins to tie the game. That stretch was snapped by A’s left fielder Mark Canha, who dove a 2-1 cutter into the left-field stands to break a 4-4 tie. It was the third time this season that Hughes has allowed more than one homer in a game; last year, he had three such games all season.
— Phil Hughes doesn’t walk batters, and Danny Santana doesn’t walk. So naturally, both changed their pattern on the same night. Santana walked on four pitches in the eighth inning, breaking a streak of 97 plate appearances this season without a base on balls.
— Torii Hunter came into the dugout screaming after hitting a three-run homer to break the 5-5 tie in the sixth inning. It was part reaction to the moment, and part motivation for his teammates. “I looked at the bench and said, ‘Hey! Let’s go!” Hunter said. “Screaming and yelling, just trying to pump my guys up. I’ve got a little fire sometimes. Nothing against Oakland or the pitcher, it’s just fire.” Said manager Paul Molitor, “I think the Oakland A’s brought out his best Bash Brothers imitation. He’s one of the few guys old enough to remember them.” Two of Hunter’s three homers this year have been three-run blasts. Last year, while with Detroit, he had only one three-run shot; 13 of his 17 homers were came with nobody on base.