MINNEAPOLIS -- The A's halted the Twins' winning streak at five games, as right-hander Jesse Chavez tossed 7 1/3 strong innings in a 2-1 win on Tuesday night at Target Field.
Chavez gave up just one unearned run on four hits and a walk while striking out seven. He left with one out in the eighth after first baseman Ike Davis made a throwing error on a forceout attempt at second base. It gave the Twins runners at the corners with one out, and Brian Dozier came through with an RBI single off Evan Scribner. The A's went to closer Tyler Clippard, who was able to strike out Torii Hunter and get Joe Mauer to fly to left to end the scoring threat. Clippard came back out for the ninth and tossed a 1-2-3 inning to preserve the win.
"Obviously, if that play goes different, [Chavez] might go all the way," said catcher Stephen Vogt. "That's the kind of stuff he had all night, and you knew from pitch No. 1 that he was right where he wanted to be. Made some great pitches in some big times, really kind of kept it very relaxed in our dugout. Really didn't have a whole lot of trouble. That's all a credit to him."
Chavez outdueled right-hander Trevor May, who gave up two runs on five hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings. The A's got on the board in a hurry with a two-out RBI single from Billy Butler in the first. Brett Lawrie brought home the other run with a two-out RBI single in the sixth off reliever Brian Duensing with the run being charged to May.
"He kept us in the game," Twins manager Paul Molitor said of May. "He got off to I wouldn't call a rough start, but they got a point on the board on a 0-2 single to start the game and it turns out to cost you in a one-run game. But he went out there and competed really well. Overall, it was a good performance."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Chavez dominates: Chavez was absolutely dominant, nearly completing eight innings, until Davis botched the throw on the front-end of a potential inning-ending double play, forcing manager Bob Melvin to go to the bullpen. Chavez, charged with one unearned run in 7 1/3 innings, faced just one over the minimum through the first six innings and allowed four hits, walking one and striking out seven. More >
Offense falls flat for Minnesota: The Twins averaged 6.6 runs per game through their first eight games of their current homestand, but couldn't get anything going offensively. They went just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position, including Hunter and Mauer unable to come through in a key situation in the eighth with two runners on against Clippard. It was the two hitters the Twins wanted at the plate, but it didn't work out.
'"They've been doing it for us," Molitor said. "Torii has had a good homestand with a lot of big hits and Joe has been doing it since the beginning. That guy came in and kind of mixed up that fastball and changeup combination." More >
Clippard comes through: Clippard entered a one-run game with one out and runners at the corners in the eighth and compiled two quick outs to escape the jam, striking out Hunter and inducing a shallow fly ball to left off the bat of Mauer. Clippard returned for the ninth and held the lead with a scoreless frame for his third save of the season.
"It was huge, man," said Clippard, "Jesse threw the ball exceptionally well. It was a big team win. Obviously, we've been struggling in close games, it's no secret the bullpen's not been throwing well, so it's just good all the way around to get that win and move forward and past all that other [stuff]."
May's day ends in the sixth : May was one out away from getting through the sixth inning, but walked Vogt with two outs. The Twins went to left-hander Duensing, who gave up back-to-back singles to Davis and Lawrie to give the A's another run that was charged to May.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The A's were 0-7 in one-run games prior to Tuesday's victory, which snapped Oakland's 10-game losing streak in one-run games dating back to Sept. 24 of last year.
WHAT'S NEXT Athletics: Left-hander Scott Kazmir will make his sixth start of the season on Wednesday. He breezed through his first five starts, pitching to a 1.62 ERA. Kazmir will enter the contest riding a five-game winning streak against the Twins dating back to May 4, 2013. He has a 2.68 ERA over that span.
Twins: Right-hander Kyle GIbson is set to start for the Twins on Wednesday night. He's coming off a strong outing against the White Sox on Friday, as he tossed eight scoreless innings in a win. He's been on a roll recently, as he's posted a 2.03 ERA over his last four starts.
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.