Polanco again decides the triumph of the Twins

Jorge Polanco had another key hit and Minnesota’s bullpen combined for 6 2/3 scoreless innings as the Twins handed the Oakland Athletics their ninth straight loss in a 4-3 win Sunday.

The Twins have swept three of their last five series and won 14 of 17 games since starting the season 4-8.

Minnesota star outfielder Byron Buxton did not play for the AL Central leaders a day after an early exit. His situation is considered day-to-day for a very low-level strain in his right hip.

Polanco, who homered in a 1-0 win Saturday night, now hit a two-run single in the third inning to give Minnesota a 4-3 lead for good.

The Twins allowed just four runs in three games against the A’s. Minnesota’s bullpen didn’t allow a run in 11 2/3 innings during the series, largely after starter Chris Paddack left the game in the third inning with right elbow inflammation.

From there, Cody Stashak (3-0), Caleb Thielbar, Joe Smith, Tyler Duffey and Emilio Pagán combined to relieve in two-hit ball.

For the Twins, the Dominicans Polanco 3-1 with a couple of RBIs, Gary Sánchez 4-1 with a run scored, and Gilberto Celestino 3-3. Colombian Gio Urshela 3-0 with an RBI. Puerto Rican José Miranda 4-1 with a run scored and an RBI.

For the Athletics, Panamanian Christian Bethancourt 2-1. The Venezuelan of Elvis Andrus 4-0, the same as the Dominicans Ramón Laureano and Cristian Pache.

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