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A's top Twins to oust Rangers from top spot

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- After Octavio Dotel allowed a ninth inning
homer for the second time this week, he held off Minnesotalong
enough for Eric Chavez to fix his mistake.

Chavez hit a go-ahead double in the 11th inning and the Oakland Athletics survived Dotel's second straight blown save in a 3-1 victory over the Twins on Friday night.

"I felt like it was my fault we had to play extra innings and I
wanted to stay in there," said Dotel, who allowed just the one big
hit in three innings. "It's great because we won and finally I
finished the game."

Oakland led 1-0 before Shannon Stewart homered off Dotel (2-1)
to lead off the ninth inning. On Wednesday, Dotel allowed a tying
homer in the ninth to the New York Yankees' Gary Sheffield.

"I'm telling you, man, just one pitch changed the whole thing
both times," Dotel said. "But, that's baseball."

Oakland manager Ken Macha thought Dotel pitched well -- except
for the home run ball.

"He made a lot of good pitches, but that was a bad one," Macha said. "I look at it this way, though, we fought
back in that game tonight."

Oakland moved into first in the AL West with a half-game lead
over Texas. The Twins lost for just the fourth time in 17 games,
but still maintain a six-game lead over both Chicago and Cleveland
in the AL Central.

Eric Byrnes singled off Juan Rincon (9-4) with one out in the
11th and Chavez followed with a line drive to the left-center field
gap. Jermaine Dye then hit an RBI single up the middle.

"When things are going bad, we don't win that game right
there," Chavez said. "It's a good sign."

Mark Redman, Jim Mecir and Dotel combined on a four-hitter.
Dotel had his fourth blown save in 12 opportunities with Oakland.

Twins starter Brad Radke allowed five hits in nine innings, giving up a run in the fifth when Erubiel Durazo doubled, Bobby Crosby bunted for a single and Marco Scutaro hit an RBI grounder.

In Radke's 11 no-decisions, Minnesota has scored just 20 runs
while he is the game.

"It happens," Radke said.

Redman allowed three hits in 7 1/3 innings. He was Minnesota's
first-round draft choice in 1995 and is 0-2 in six starts against
this former team. Redman did not allow a runner to reach second
base until the sixth inning, and at one point retired 10 in a row.

"It would have been nice to get the win, but when all is said
and done the team just needs to win ballgames," Redman said.

Game notes
After the game, the Twins optioned SS Jason Bartlett
Triple-A Rochester and selected the contract of infielder Augie
Ojeda from Rochester. Minnesota also transferred infielder Nick
Punto from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.
... The Twins fell to 8-36 when scoring less than four runs. ...
Stewart hit his fifth homer and has hit safely in 21 of 24 games,
batting .347 in that span. ... Chavez has hit safely in 22 of 25
games since returning from the disabled list on July 9. ... Mecir
has not allowed a run in the last 12 innings.