Minnesota 9, Oakland 1
When: 8:10 PM ET, Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Mike Winters, 1B -
Mark Wegner, 2B -
Mike Muchlinski, 3B -
MINNEAPOLIS -- Life has been good for Miguel Sano lately.
The Twins third baseman was recently named the American League Player of the Week after an impressive stretch on Minnesota's road trip. Sano's bat was a big reason why the Twins finished April with a winning record.
On Tuesday, Sano started the month of May where he left off in April. His tape-measure home run was the highlight of the night for the Twins as they cruised to a 9-1 victory over the Oakland A's.
Sano's two-run homer was one of six home runs hit by the Twins (13-11). Brian Dozier hit a pair while Jason Castro, Byron Buxton and Joe Mauer also cleared the fences.
The homer off Sano's bat was the longest of the night, measuring an estimated 466 feet. The blast to center field cleared the batter's eye and landed in a seating area called "Catch" in the second deck. It put the Twins up 3-0.
"He's been on quite a roll," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "There's just a very, very small percent of players that could ever dream of hitting a ball like that, and he seems to have the capability on almost a nightly basis here as of late. It's fun to watch."
Minnesota's bats gave starter Ervin Santana more than enough run support. Santana, who has been among the league leaders in most statistical categories through the first month, improved to 5-0 and lowered his ERA to a major-league-leading 0.66.
In six scoreless innings, Santana allowed just three hits while striking out seven and walking three.
Though Santana admittedly didn't have his best stuff Tuesday, he still held down the A's.
"I feel great, especially the way we've been handling batting and defense," Santana said. "That's good to know when you don't have your best stuff that you have our players to back you up and do your job."
Sano (.317, eight home runs, 27 RBIs) has homered in three consecutive games. He is 12-for-20 with four home runs and 13 RBIs during a five-game hitting streak.
Buxton, Dozier and Mauer all homered in the seventh inning. For Buxton and Mauer, it was their first of the season. All three home runs came off Oakland reliever Cesar Valdez and pushed the lead to 8-0.
Minnesota's six home runs set a team record at Target Field. It was also the most home runs in a game by the Twins since June 26 of last season, when they also hit six against the New York Yankees.
The Twins have won three straight games, while the A's have dropped seven of their past eight contests.
Right-hander Sonny Gray (0-1) made his season debut for Oakland after recovering from a lat strain. After cruising through the Twins' order once, Gray ran into trouble the second time through. He gave up four runs in six innings -- including three home runs.
"Overall I felt pretty good," Gray said. "If I could take a couple pitches back, obviously I would. Those just happened to be the difference in the game."
Dozier gave the Twins their first hit -- and first run -- with a solo homer in the third. Dozier's two-out blast gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead against Gray. Two batters later, after Gray walked Max Kepler, Sano hit his tape-measure blast.
Castro joined the home run parade in the fourth inning with a solo shot off Gray. Castro's solo shot cleared the center-field fence to put Minnesota up 4-0.
"When you don't score any runs, it kind of magnifies the fact that they're ahead of you 4-0," said A's manager Bob Melvin.
NOTES: A's pitching prospect Casey Thomas died unexpectedly Tuesday. He was 24 years old. Thomas was taken in the 34th round of last year's draft out of Texas A&M Corpus Christi and spent last season with Oakland's rookie-league Arizona League affiliate. ... Former Twins manager Sam Mele died late Monday night at the age of 95. Mele was the second manager in team history, leading the team from 1961-67. He had a record of 522-431 during his tenure as Minnesota's skipper. ... Twins LHP Buddy Boshers was optioned to Triple-A Rochester after Tuesday's game to make room for RHP Hector Santiago. Santiago is returning from the bereavement list and is scheduled to start Wednesday.
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