Twins squander 10-run lead, lose to Oakland 14-13
Oakland, Calif. (AP) -- Michael Cuddyer fumed after being called out, sure that he had scored the tying run on a wild pitch. Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire thought so, too.
Cuddyer came crashing into home and Oakland pitcher Michael Wuertz reached out and did all he could to make a play - then got the favorable call as the Athletics rallied from 10 runs down for a 14-13 victory over the Twins on Monday night.
That's how this crazy slugfest finally ended: 3 hours and 32 minutes, 39 hits and 27 runs later.
"I was full speed out of the get-go and I saw (catcher Kurt) Suzuki kind of looking around," Cuddyer said. "I said to myself, 'If it hits and it rolls, I'm gone.' It hit and it rolled and he still didn't know where the ball was. It rolled all the way to the backstop and I didn't break stride one bit."
With the A's trailing 13-7, Matt Holliday hit a tying grand slam to spark a seven-run seventh inning and Jack Cust followed with another shot in a game featuring eight home runs. Holliday also had a two-run homer in the largest comeback in Oakland history. The franchise's most famous rally came when the Philadelphia A's trailed 8-0 in Game 4 of the 1929 World Series before scoring 10 runs in the seventh to beat the Cubs 10-8.
Justin Morneau hit his second grand slam this season and a three-run homer for a career-high seven RBIs, but the Twins couldn't hold a 12-2 lead and matched their biggest collapse ever. They also blew a 10-run lead on Sept. 28, 1984, at Cleveland.
Craig Breslow (3-4) got the win and Wuertz finished for his third save in four chances.
"After that out was made, I was thinking, 'What just happened?" Wuertz said. "I don't think you see many games as crazy as that one."
Cuddyer was thrown out by Suzuki trying to score from second. He appeared to be safe and Gardenhire stepped between him and plate umpire Mike Muchlinski as the outfielder argued the call. Cuddyer slammed his helmet down.
"Definitely Cuddy was safe, there's no doubt about it," Gardenhire said. "We just had a little bit of a bad call there. But we also shot ourselves in the foot enough out there pitching-wise, so it's hard to say he blew it because we did enough blowing it ourselves."
Holliday connected for his fourth career slam off Jose Mijares (0-2) and had his 12th career multihomer game.
Jason Kubel also had a three-run homer for the Twins, who allowed their most hits and runs of 2009.
The A's had twice before rallied from eight runs down to win - on Aug. 21, 2006, against Toronto and June 18, 1993, against Kansas City. The franchise record is also the major league record. That came on June 15, 1925, against Cleveland when the Philadelphia A's scored 13 runs in the bottom of the eighth to win 17-15, coming back from 12 runs down.
"Crazy game. I've never really been a part of a comeback like that," Cust said. "They got off to a big lead. We just didn't give up. All year we've been doing that."
Twins starter Nick Blackburn and Oakland's Gio Gonzalez combined to allow 23 hits and 18 earned runs with six homers. Oakland's 22 hits were a season high - and they didn't have a strikeout.
"When you give up 22 hits you're not supposed to win anyway," Gardenhire said. "We gave up 22 hits, 14 runs and the amazing thing was we still should have won the game."