- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - On a day when Drew Pomeranz had difficulty finding the plate, he sure could have used some help from his defense to grind through the series finale against the Minnesota Twins.

The Oakland Athletics did not oblige.

Pomeranz walked a career-high five and Brett Lawrie and Eric Sogard each had errors that led to runs in a 6-5 loss to the Twins on Thursday.

“We should be better defensively,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s part of the reason we gave up as many runs as we did.”

Eduardo Escobar and Eddie Rosario each drove in two runs and Glen Perkins got four outs for his 10th save for the Twins (16-13), who have won seven of their last eight to improve to three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2010 season.

Pomeranz (1-3) gave up six runs - four earned - and three hits in 4 1-3 innings for the Athletics. Ike Davis had a homer, a double and two RBIs, and Billy Butler added two hits and an RBI.

Marcus Semien had his first day off all season, which moved Lawrie to second base, and the A’s never looked comfortable in the field.

“Brett hasn’t played a lot of second,” Melvin said. “But at some point you have to do this. Marcus has played every inning of every game.”

The Athletics entered Thursday with the second-most errors in the major leagues before committing two in their third loss of a four-game series against the Twins. Lawrie’s throwing error allowed Escobar to score in a three-run second and Sogard bobbled a ground ball at shortstop, leading to another run in the fifth.

The errors helped the Twins overcame a rough start from Ricky Nolasco (2-1), who gave up four runs and six hits in five innings.

“It’s one of those things where you’ve just got to keep pushing forward,” said manager Paul Molitor, whose Twins have the best AL home record at 12-5. “That’s got to be your motto. Good, bad, every day we come out and try to play the best we can and win as many games as we can.”

Pomeranz left after walking two of the first three batters in the fifth inning. Dan Otero walked Kennys Vargas before Escobar punched a single through the right side of the infield to give the Twins a 6-4 lead.

“Pretty much beat myself out there,” Pomeranz said. “It’s pretty frustrating, more so the walks.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: Ben Zobrist took some swings off a tee on Thursday as he continues rehabbing from left knee surgery. There remains no timetable for a returning. … RHP A.J. Griffin, recovering from Tommy John surgery, was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Thursday.

Twins: RHP Casey Fien, on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder, was cleared by doctors to begin a throwing program on Friday.

UP NEXT

The Athletics will head to Seattle for a series against the Mariners. RHP Sonny Gray (4-0, 1.67) will start for the A’s against RHP Taijuan Walker (1-3, 8.74). Gray is 3-0 with a 0.98 ERA in four starts at Safeco Field.

The Twins start a trip in Cleveland. RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-0, 2.63) will start the opener against Indians RHP Trevor Bauer (2-0, 3.38). Pelfrey is coming off his shortest outing of the season, lasting just 3 1-3 innings of a 13-3 win over the White Sox.

INCREASED ROLE

Seeking help for a bullpen with the worst ERA in baseball, the Athletics got a boost from Fernando Rodriguez, who was called up from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday.

Rodriguez flew into Minneapolis the day of the noon game and struck out four batters in two innings of relief. He gave up just one hit and no runs.

“Really nice,” Melvin said of Rodriguez’s outing. “Anybody who comes out there pitching good, we’re going to try to look for a little bit more of an expanded role for him.”


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