With two outs and the score tied in the eighth, all Eddie Guardado needed was a ground ball from Tony Phillips. He got it.
Only, it skipped past his glove and into center field. By the time the Twins got out of the inning, Oakland had amassed seven runs on seven hits, all with two outs, on their way to a 14-7 rout of Minnesota.
"It just got through," Guardado said. "I've just got to field my position better. I got a ground ball like I wanted to. I guess he hit it to the wrong person."
Phillips couldn't believe the lucky bounce.
"I haven't had a lot of big hits lately," he said. "It was nice to come up with a big hit."
"Offensively, we were outstanding tonight. Everyone was hitting the ball well," Athletics coach Art Howe said. "And getting eight guys on in a row was great. That's what it took tonight. It took some big two-out hits."
Ben Grieve said he felt fortunate to have started the rally with a two-out single off left-hander Benj Sampson (3-1).
"Yeah, I guess we couldn't have scored without me getting a hit," Grieve said. "It was nice coming off a lefty because I haven't done that much this year."
Buddy Groom (3-2) was the winner despite allowing a two-run single to Todd Walker in the seventh that tied it at 7.
Carrasco faced four batters and gave up RBI singles to Miguel Tejada, Jason Giambi and John Jaha before Stairs connected for his 21st homer. Scott Spiezio and Mike Macfarlane also homered for Oakland.
"We had a bad day and the manager had probably the worst day. I didn't do anything right there in that eighth inning," Twins manager Tom Kelly said. "I think they got 10, 12, 15 hits in a row with two outs. That was amazing. Everything went wrong."
Oakland right-hander Gil Heredia was staked to a 7-2 lead in his bid to win a career-best fifth straight strt.
Spiezio, recalled from Triple-A Vancouver to replace injured infielder Olmedo Saenz (hamstring), homered in his first at-bat for Oakland since he was demoted to the minor leagues on June 18. Spiezio's third homer of the season followed a walk to Stairs and gave the Athletics a 2-0 lead.
After Chad Allen's two-run double tied it at 2 in the third, the Athletics quickly restored their lead in the fourth when Ryan Christenson, who was 0-for-12 off starter Eric Milton, doubled down the left-field line with the bases full.
The Athletics made it 6-2 two pitches later when catcher Terry Steinbach's pickoff throw down to third hit Ben Grieve in his left foot and bounced into the Twins' bullpen, allowing both Grieve and Christenson to score.
"It was a tough night all around," Milton said. "I guess Oakland had their hitting shoes on tonight."
After Macfarlane's second homer of the season made it 7-2 in the sixth, Marty Cordova's two-run homer, his ninth, made it 7-4 in the bottom of the inning. Heredia was lifted for T.J. Mathews one out later after Corey Koskie's RBI single pulled the Twins to 7-5.
"It was nice to get back in the thing," Kelly said. "But we didn't do anything very good and the manager didn't do anything right."
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