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A's snap 8-game losing streak to Twins

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Eric Byrnes popped out to second when he
had chance to win the game in the 11th inning.

He made his next at-bat count, hitting a two-run homer in the
13th inning to give the Oakland Athletics an 11-9 win over the
Minnesota Twins on Friday night.

"You always dream about second chances and I got a second
chance," he said. "It was awesome!"

The A's snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Twins and won
their first extra-inning game this year. There were 504 total
pitches thrown in a game that lasted 4 hours, 53 minutes.

On Tuesday night, the Twins played the longest game of the
season -- a 16-inning, 4-3 loss in Seattle.

"These long games, we've played enough of them already," Twins
manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Byrnes hit his first career walkoff homer to left off Terry
Mulholland (0-1), who pitched 3 2-3 innings for the loss. The last
game-ending homer he can remember hitting came as a freshman in
college for UCLA to beat Stanford.

Chad Bradford (2-1), the A's sixth pitcher used, worked three
innings for the win.

"He's unbelievable," Byrnes said.

While the A's still had Jim Mecir as an option to pitch, the
Twins were looking at backup catcher Rob Bowen as their next
choice. Gardenhire was thankful it didn't come to that.

"You don't think about how or when the game is going to end,
you just go out and try to make your pitches," 18-year veteran
Mulholland said.

Joe Nathan blew his first save in the eighth. He entered with
two runners on and walked the first two batters he faced, including
Erubiel Durazo with the bases loaded to force in the tying run.

Pinch-hitter Jose Offerman gave Minnesota a temporary lead with
a double -- his 1,500th career hit -- in the Twins' four-run eighth.

Jermaine Dye had a sacrifice fly in the seventh to give the A's
the lead, but Oakland's struggling bullpen let it slip away once
again.

Cristian Guzman had a career-high five hits, singling to lead
off the 13th. He had four hits in a game nine times.

The Twins got six hits in the eighth, four off Chris Hammond.
Minnesota also capitalized on a walk and a throwing error by center
fielder Mark Kotsay.

The A's hit three home runs before Byrnes' shot, but that wasn't
enough to avoid another bullpen collapse.

"I can't say that was one of the prettiest games we played all
year," A's manager Ken Macha said.

Dye's flyout to right scored Byrnes, who led off the inning with
a single off Joe Roa. The A's added another run later in the inning
when J.C. Romero walked Bobby Crosby with the bases loaded.

Oakland's Ricardo Rincon allowed two straight hits to start the
eighth. Hammond entered after Jacque Jones reached on a fielder's
choice and Lew Ford hit an RBI single to make it 7-6.

Offerman, who played in the independent Atlantic League last
season, grounded sharply up the middle for a double to score Jones.
Ford came home when Kotsay threw wildly past third base and into
the A's dugout.

Kielty connected for his first homer of the year off Johan
Santana in the first, a monstrous shot to left-center. Chavez hit
his ninth homer of the season two innings later.

Doug Mientkiewicz hit a two-run homer off Mark Redman in the
sixth to tie the game at 5.

Torii Hunter returned to the Twins lineup after missing two
games with a strained right hamstring, but he was limited to a
designated hitter role.

Hunter hit an RBI double in the Twins' three-run fourth.

Eric Karros connected for his first homer of the year, a two-run
shot to left in the fourth.

Santana, who allowed only seven earned runs in his previous
three starts, was tagged for seven hits and five runs in four
innings and struck out five in his seventh start this season.

Redman retired eight of the first 10 Twins batters before
walking Guzman and Mientkiewicz to start the fourth. He then gave
up Koskie's single and the double to Hunter.

Game notes
Crosby got Oakland's first sacrifice bunt of the season in
the sixth. The A's were the only team in the majors without one.
... Mientkiewicz has hit safely in seven of his last eight games.
... Santana threw 83 pitches in four innings. He has given up a
team-high eight homers this year. ... Mulholland made his 600th
career appearance.