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MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: A's AL West lead continues to grow at Twins' expense

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Pierce County Herald
MINNESOTA SPORTS ROUND-UP: A's AL West lead continues to grow at Twins' expense
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

MINNEAPOLIS (Sports Network) - The Oakland Athletics added to their AL West lead with another lopsided win over the Minnesota Twins in advance of a critical set against the Texas Rangers.

A.J. Griffin was stellar over seven innings and the Oakland bats cooled off, only slightly, in Thursday's series-clinching 8-2 triumph at Target Field. Griffin (14-9) won his fourth straight start after holding the Twins to two hits, one a solo homer by Oswaldo Arcia that put Minnesota on the board in the seventh. The Oakland right-hander struck out six of the first nine batters he faced and finished with eight punchouts to only one walk. Coming off an 18-3 rout on Wednesday, Oakland got a two-run homer from Josh Reddick. Reddick added a sacrifice fly, and Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run triple to highlight a four-run third inning for the Athletics, who will carry a 3 1/2 game lead in the division standings over the Rangers into this weekend's showdown at Arlington. Scott Diamond's return to the majors got off to a promising start, as the Minnesota left-hander retired seven in a row to begin his outing. However, Diamond (5-11), making his first start for the Twins since Aug. 1, ran into trouble in the third and failed to complete five frames. He allowed five runs -- four earned -- on six hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. 

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Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer suffered a setback in his attempt to return to the lineup following a concussion last month.  Mauer had to shut down his workout Wednesday as he felt concussion-like symptoms and was sent home from Target Field.  GM Terry Ryan says it was Mauer's first setback since he was hit in the head by a foul tip August 19th against the Mets.  He says he hopes Mauer comes back to the ballpark today feeling better.      

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The WNBA Minnesota Lynx take the league's best record into their final regular season road game of the year tonight in Los Angeles.  The Lynx are 25-7 and have won seven consecutive games.  Meanwhile, the home team Sparks are 22-and-10 and secure in the number-two Western Conference playoff seed, behind top-seed Minnesota.  Tipoff tonight is 9:30 p.m.

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