Alexa

Oakland leads Minnesota 2-0

Oakland leads Minnesota 2-0

Mark Kotsay hit an inside-the-park home run to lift the Oakland Athletics over the Minnesota Twins 5-2 and lead their Major League Baseball playoff series 2-0 on Wednesday.
A's starter Esteban Loaiza slipped in the sixth inning, surrendering consecutive solo homers to Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau that evened the score at 2-2.
But with Jason Kendall on first base, two outs in the seventh and reliever Dennys Reyes pitching, Kotsay hit what should have been a single. Gold Glove center fielder Torii Hunter charged forward and dived but badly missed the ball which rolled to the wall. Kotsay raced all the way around to give Oakland a 4-2 lead.
Twins rookie Boof Bonser struck out three in six innings, giving up two runs and seven hits. Sidearmer Pat Neshek, who took the loss, started the seventh before yielding to Reyes.
The series shifts west for Game 3 on Friday, with Minnesota's Brad Radke taking his broken shoulder socket to the mound for possibly the final time of his 12-year career. Dan Haren, in his first playoff start, will pitch for Oakland.
While the Twins have lost seven straight at home in the postseason since Game 1 of the 2002 American League championship series, the A's have their own demons: They're 0-9 in elimination games since 2000, losing four straight first-round series.