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May 5, 1:29 AM EDT

Hahn and frustrated A's lose early lead, fall 8-7 to Twins


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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Star Wars promotion in Minnesota brought more forces going against the Oakland Athletics.

Torii Hunter's three-run homer broke a sixth-inning tie, giving Phil Hughes his first win and the streaking Twins an 8-7 victory over the A's on Monday.

The A's, off to their worst start in six years, lost for the eighth time in 11 games. They're already 7 1/2 games behind first-place Houston in the AL West.

"We get a lead, and we lose it. Come back, just short. It does get frustrating," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "But you're not going to hit on all cylinders. Obviously this has been a serious deficiency for us, and we've got to figure it out somehow. Somebody has to step up."

Jesse Hahn (1-2) quickly lost the 4-0 lead the A's handed him in the first inning and failed to finish the sixth for the fourth straight start.

"That's a pitcher's dream, to go out in the first inning and get a four-spot right away from your team," Hahn said. "I just did a bad job of controlling that."

Hahn was the fifth A's starter in the last nine games to finish only five innings or fewer. He gave up 10 hits and six runs while striking out five. Brian Dozier and Jordan Schafer each drove in two runs for the Twins, who won their fifth straight game.

Hughes (1-4) gave up a grand slam to Stephen Vogt five batters into the game and a solo shot to Mark Canha in the sixth, but the right-hander was good enough in between to finally get that first victory in his sixth start of the season.

Vogt added an RBI double in the ninth inning that was a few feet from clearing the wall and tying the game, but Glen Perkins recovered to earn his ninth save in as many attempts. Vogt's homer was his third in as many at-bats, and he has nine RBIs in his last two games.

That was little solace to the 30-year-old catcher, who raised his average to .372.

"I didn't really see where it hit off the wall, but guys said it was about 2 feet from the balcony and about 3 feet short of the top of the wall, and I think that just about sums up our night," Vogt said. "It's frustrating. There's no hiding it anymore. We're squaring balls right at people. We're giving up broken-bat, two-RBI doubles. We're struggling late in games to get people out."

Hughes settled in after Vogt's slam, finding a rhythm until Canha sent a fastball into the second deck above left field to give the A's a 5-4 lead.

The Twins roared right back, though, with an RBI single by Schafer before the big hit by Hunter off R.J. Alvarez.

"That pitch I threw Torii honestly couldn't have been any better," Alvarez said. "I mean, right where you want it, low and in. I went back and looked, and it was pretty much perfect. He just beat me. He might have been expecting it to come or something. I don't even know how he kept it fair, but he did a good job and he beat me on that one."

Hunter was indeed expecting that pitch after seeing Alvarez pound Dozier with sliders.

"I just figured, hey, I think he's slidered out now. Let's look for the fastball," Hunter said.

Canha drove in another run with a groundout in the eighth, but Schafer ended the inning with a tumbling catch near his shoe of a sinking line drive by Billy Burns. The A's had that kind of night.

"One foot or another, or one pitch or another, and we'd be on the other side of this," Melvin said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Oakland RHP Jarrod Parker struck out four while allowing three runs in 4 1-3 innings for Triple-A Nashville in a rehab start Sunday, moving one step closer to rejoining the rotation following Tommy John surgery that kept him out last season.

UP NEXT

Jesse Chavez (0-2, 2.55 ERA) will take his third turn in Oakland's rotation since moving from the bullpen. Chavez's only career start against Minnesota came at Target Field last April, a seven-inning, one-run, nine-strikeout performance.

Trevor May (2-1, 4.43) takes the mound for the Twins, who have won each of his last three turns. May made his major league debut against the A's last August, allowing four runs on three hits and seven walks while finishing only two innings.

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