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Polanco HR gives Twins 1-0 win; A's lose 8th straight

Minnesota pitchers combined to strike out 15 while allowing just three hits.
Credit: AP
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) throws against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)

MINNEAPOLIS — Jorge Polanco homered in the sixth inning and four Minnesota Twins pitchers made it stand up, blanking Oakland 1-0 Saturday and sending the Athletics to their eighth straight loss.

Minnesota pitchers combined to strike out 15 while allowing just three hits. The Twins won again minus manager Rocco Baldelli, who is out with COVID-19.

Polanco’s third homer of the season was a towering shot to the suites above the batter’s eye in center field and traveled an estimated 451 feet. Polanco had three of Minnesota’s five hits.

Griffin Jax (2-0) earned the win with 1 2/3 innings in relief. Jhoan Duran struck out five in two innings for his second save, but the electric right-hander escaped after walking and hitting a batter in the ninth.

Sonny Gray returned from the injured list to make the start for the Twins after recovering from a hamstring strain. Gray pitched four innings, giving up two hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

Danny Coulombe followed Gray and got four outs.

James Kaprielian (0-2) surrendered one run on three hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out seven, recovering from a tough first start to the season when he gave up four runs in two innings against Cleveland.

Gray and Kaprielian proved their health in limiting the offenses.

Gray, who was originally scheduled to make a second rehab start on Saturday, only allowed two singles and five of his seven strikeouts were called. At one point, he struck out four of five hitters looking.

Kaprielian, who was making his second start of the season after recovering from an inflamed right AC joint, escaped trouble in the first after a wild pitch allowed Byron Buxton to reach on a strikeout and Max Kepler walked.

Kaprielian retired seven of eight before Polanco’s two-out homer in the sixth on his final pitch.

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