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Athletics break game open in seventh, beat Twins

Josh Winder gave up nine hits in his extended bullpen appearance — which ended up being 3 2/3 innings

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli (5) Reeves Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Josh Winder (74) during the seventh inning against the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California.
Neville E. Guard / USA Today Sports
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OAKLAND, Calif. — The unraveling began with the dreaded leadoff walk. One hit batter later, and Josh Winder was in trouble. With no one warming up in the bullpen, it was Winder’s inning to work through.

The rookie couldn’t get through it.

A double producing one run and a bloop single plating two more broke open a seventh-inning tie and propelled the Oakland Athletics to a 5-2 win over the Twins late Tuesday night at the Oakland Coliseum.

It was the fourth inning of an extended appearance out of the bullpen for Winder, who had slid into the rotation briefly in response to other pitchers’ injuries. Back in the bullpen, the Twins were clearly hoping to get length out of him on a day where they were thin on available arms.

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“Today was a day where we weren’t going to be able to just send a bunch of guys out there to finish the game,” manager Rocco Baldelli said, citing recent heavy bullpen usage. “And so, we were going to lean on (starter) Dylan (Bundy) and we were going to lean on Josh. It’s not a satisfying way — there’s no good way to lose a ballgame, ever. But obviously, it doesn’t feel good to watch it happen in the seventh inning, see it play out like that.”

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Winder dealt with traffic throughout his outing, giving up nine hits in his appearance — which ended up being 3 2/3 innings. The right hander also surrendered a two-run home run to Kevin Smith in the fourth inning, putting the Athletics up 2-0 at the time.

The Twins turned to Winder after a shortened start from Bundy, who was taking the ball for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19 on May 5 in Baltimore.

While in quarantine, Bundy threw a ball into a mattress and tried to keep his arm moving while dealing with some aches and congestion. The Twins were planning on a short start from him as he builds back up. He wound up throwing 54 pitches.

“Physically, it was fine,” Bundy said of his return. “I felt great but mechanically it was a little bit off. You could tell. Everything was kind of up but I was happy with it. Wish I could have got out there for the fourth but pitch count and we talked about it before the game, so I was expecting it.”

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics first baseman Seth Brown hits an RBI double during the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, at RingCentral Coliseum in Oakland, California.
Neville E. Guard / USA Today Sports

“Today was a day where we weren’t going to be able to just send a bunch of guys out there to finish the game,” manager Rocco Baldelli said, citing recent heavy bullpen usage. “And so, we were going to lean on (starter) Dylan (Bundy) and we were going to lean on Josh. It’s not a satisfying way — there’s no good way to lose a ballgame, ever. But obviously, it doesn’t feel good to watch it happen in the seventh inning, see it play out like that.”

Winder dealt with traffic throughout his outing, giving up nine hits in his appearance — which ended up being 3 2/3 innings. The right hander also surrendered a two-run home run to Kevin Smith in the fourth inning, putting the Athletics up 2-0 at the time.

The Twins turned to Winder after a shortened start from Bundy, who was taking the ball for the first time since testing positive for COVID-19 on May 5 in Baltimore.

While in quarantine, Bundy threw a ball into a mattress and tried to keep his arm moving while dealing with some aches and congestion. The Twins were planning on a short start from him as he builds back up. He wound up throwing 54 pitches.

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“Physically, it was fine,” Bundy said of his return. “I felt great but mechanically it was a little bit off. You could tell. Everything was kind of up but I was happy with it. Wish I could have got out there for the fourth but pitch count and we talked about it before the game, so I was expecting it.”

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