Published September 11, 2013
| Sports Network
Minneapolis, MN – Josh Willingham's upper-deck two-run blast in the eighth inning gave the Minnesota Twins a 4-3 win over the Oakland Athletics in the opener of a three-game set.
Willingham also hit a solo home run as did Oswaldo Arcia for the Twins, who have won their past two.
"That was nice to see him get that, he needed to get a smile on his face. It's been a battle for him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Willingham.
Liam Hendriks pitched 5 1/3 innings in the start as he gave up three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts. Anthony Swarzak (2-2) pitched a scoreless eighth for the win.
Alberto Callaspo smacked a two-run home run while Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI and a run scored for the Athletics, who are two games up on the Rangers in the AL West.
Jarrod Parker was in line for the win as he gave up just two runs on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings. He hasn't lost a game since May 22 and is 9-0 over his last 19 starts.
In the eighth with Sean Doolittle on the mound, Arcia singled to start and Ryan Doumit struck out. Ryan Cook (6-4) then took the mound and Willingham blasted a shot into the upper-deck seats in left for his 14th home run of the season.
"I literally threw the ball right down the middle," Cook said.
Glen Perkins pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his 34th save of the year.
Willingham homered with one out in the second to get the scoring started, while Callaspo went deep with Cespedes on board in the fifth for a 2-1 lead.
Cespedes gave the A's a 3-1 advantage in the sixths with an RBI single, but Arcia made it a one-run game once again with his leadoff homer in the sixth.
Oakland had a three-game winning streak snapped ... Each team has won five times in the season series ... Minnesota was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight.