(Sports Network) – Mark Ellis collected three hits, including a two-run homer, and walked twice, as the Oakland Athletics beat Minnesota, 6-2, in the rubber match of a three-game series at Target Field.
Akinori Iwamura hit a two-run single for the Athletics, while Bobby Cramer (2-0), making his second career start, allowed two runs on five hits and issued three walks in 5 2/3 innings. Cramer, who turns 31 next month, won his major league debut Monday in Kansas City after he allowed a run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
Michael Cuddyer and Jim Thome both homered for the Twins, whose magic number to clinch their second consecutive American League Central title remains at five.
Francisco Liriano (14-8) absorbed his first loss since July 9 at Detroit after being tagged for five runs and seven hits over five full frames. The Minnesota left-hander had gone 8-0 with a 2.41 ERA in his previous 11 starts.