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Athletics Short Hops: Game 2

Athletics Short Hops: Game 2

MINNEAPOLIS -- Fielding the Athletics' Game 2 victory over the Twins on a short hop ...

In < 25 words...
Mark Kotsay's two-run, inside-the-park home run in the seventh inning broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Athletics a 5-2 victory and a 2-0 lead in the Series.

Frozen moment
The Twins had two on and two out in the fifth when Joe Mauer, the American League batting champion, smacked a hard ground ball toward the left-side hole. But Athletics third baseman Eric Chavez lunged to his left to make a terrific stop and threw Mauer out to end the inning.

Big number
14 -- The Twins are now hitless in 14 at-bats with runners in scoring position over two games.

Game ball
The Oakland bullpen -- 5 balls: Kiko Calero, Justin Duchscherer and Huston Street combined for four scoreless innings behind Esteban Loaiza.

Milton Bradley -- zero balls: He was 0-for-4 for a second straight game. Frank Thomas, hitting behind him in the order, has batted eight times in the series and seven of them have come leading off an inning.

Marco Scutaro -- four balls: He had an RBI double for the second straight game and eight assists at shortstop on a busy day.

Sense of October
The Athletics are in the same position they were in 2002. They beat the Yankees twice in New York and needed just one more win to advance. Instead they lost two in Oakland and one more in New York to be eliminated.

Lines of the Game
Hitting
A's bottom three
12 AB, 3 R, 5 H, 3 2B, 1 RBIs
Comment: The trio of Nick Swisher, Scutaro and Mark Ellis had a big role in all five runs scored by Oakland. Ellis' single in the seventh put a man on base in front of Kotsay's inside-the-park home run.

Pitching
Esteban Loaiza
5 IP, 2 R, 8 H, 0 BB, 2 Ks
Comment: He did a solid job for five innings until the back-to-back home runs to start the sixth. Eleven of his 15 outs were recorded on ground balls.

Spoken
"There's no sense of comfort. We have to take care of business. That team over there, they are the last ones who are going to roll over for us. It's just not going to happen." -- A's general manager Billy Beane

Next step
The Athletics look to wrap it up when they return home for Game 3 on Friday at McAfee Coliseum. They send Dan Haren to the mound looking for one more victory while the Twins counter with Brad Radke.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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