A's rally from 10 down to outslug Twins
Holliday's slam ties it, Cust's HR caps Oakland-record rally
OAKLAND -- Anything Justin Morneau can do, Matt Holliday can do better.
Morneau hit two home runs -- including a grand slam -- and drove in a career-high seven in the first three innings as Minnesota built a 10-run lead.
Game over. Or not.
Holliday's seventh-inning slam tied things up, then Jack Cust hit a solo shot to cap a seven-run inning as the A's made one of the most improbable comebacks to knock off the Twins in Monday's series opener, 14-13.
The comeback from 10 runs down is the largest in Oakland history. The A's have come back from eight runs down on two occasions, most recently at Toronto on Aug. 21, 2006.
"When Matt was walking up there," A's manager Bob Geren said, "the guys were anticipating that something big could happen."
The wild contest closed in disputed fashion.
Michael Wuertz delivered a wild pitch with Delmon Young at the plate and Michael Cuddyer on second with two outs in the top of the ninth.
Catcher Kurt Suzuki couldn't find the ball, and Cuddyer made a break for home. Suzuki finally came up with it near the backstop and fired down to Wuertz, who put the tag down on Cuddyer to end the game.
"I was just thinking about getting to the plate," Wuertz said. "I got there and the ump called him out. It happened so fast. ... It was a good way to end the game."
"When you have a lead like that, it's just amazing that a team can get back into it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "[Cuddyer] slid in and was safe -- there is no doubt about that. ... We also shot ourselves in the foot pitching-wise. It's hard to point the finger and say he blew it, because we did enough blowing it ourselves."
Biggest come-from-behind wins in Oakland history
|10||12-2||T3||Minnesota||Jul. 20, 2009||14-13|
|8||8-0||B2||Kansas City||June 18, 1993||10-9|
|8||8-0||T3||at Toronto||Aug. 21, 2006||12-10|
|7||8-1||T6||at Chicago||May 22, 1970||9-8|
|7||7-0||B5||Minnesota||Sept. 28, 1972||8-7|
|7||7-0||T3||at California||July 30, 1983 (G1)||13-8|
|7||8-1||T6||at Chicago||May 21, 1993||12-11|
|7||8-1||B3||Baltimore||June 19, 2000||13-12 (10)|
|7||7-0||B5||Detroit||Sept. 2, 2007||8-7 (10)|
|The Athletics franchise record for biggest come-from-behind win is also the Major League mark, set when the Philadelphia A's erased a 12-run deficit behind a 13-run eighth inning in a 17-15 victory over the Indians on June 15, 1925.|
A's starter Gio Gonzalez was tagged for a career-worst 11 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. Minnesota's Nick Blackburn didn't fare much better. He served up seven runs on 13 hits in five innings -- and left in line for the win.
"I came down [to the clubhouse], had my head down in front of my locker," Gonzalez said. "[Adam] Kennedy comes down and tells me to get out of my locker and cheer the team on. I'm happy I did. ... I've never been a part of a game as exciting as this."
Brett Anderson went eight innings in his pursuit of perfection Sunday. Aside from that, Oakland starters have combined to go 15 1/3 innings in four starts coming off the All-Star break.
"We need a good outing from Dallas [Braden on Tuesday]," Geren said. "Our bullpen light is blinking on empty."
Holliday is rolling with a full tank.
He went 4-for-5 with six RBIs and tried an Oakland record with four extra-base hits. Holliday hit two home runs -- he had a two-run shot in the fourth -- and had two doubles.
"He's locked in," Cust said. "He's looked really good. ... We feed off that. He's our guy. It's been fun to watch."
Cust was fun to watch, too.
"Jack hit a big home run," Holliday said. "It was crazy. We hung in and fought pretty hard. That's what made it so fun."
Everyone in the Oakland lineup had a hit as the A's racked up 22 on the night. Cust, Kennedy, Orlando Cabrera and Mark Ellis had three-hit games.
The A's made 47 plate appearances, and none of them ended in a strikeout.
"When I'm on the team," Cust said, "I figured there'd be at least one."
Adam Loberstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.