- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The waiting was the hardest part for Sean Manaea.

After a severe thunderstorm in Minnesota stalled Manaea’s start, the rookie wound up with another rough turn on the road for Oakland.

Kennys Vargas, Max Kepler and Miguel Sano hit home runs, Tommy Milone beat his old team and the Twins topped the Athletics 11-4 in a game that ended early Wednesday morning after a delay of 2 hours and 42 minutes.

“I’ve never really been a part of that before. It was just crazy all around,” said Manaea (3-5), who finished five innings with seven hits, six runs and three walks allowed. He struck out five.

“I was just trying to do my own thing, just sit at my locker and try to focus on what I needed to do,” Manaea said.

Easier said than done.

“I know he was pretty antsy,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “He kept coming in here asking me if I’d heard anything. For starting pitchers, they’re the ones that are affected the most. They’re very routine-oriented.”

Vargas, recalled Monday from Triple-A Rochester, went deep for the first time since June 22, 2015, with a two-run, two-out home run in the fifth. Then Kepler homered on the next pitch.

Marcus Semien hit his 18th home run in the second, but that was all the A’s managed against Milone (1-2). Winning for the first time in eight starts since Sept. 28, Milone finished the sixth inning for only the second time this season. He allowed five hits and one walk to the team that traded him to the Twins two summers ago.

Milone averaged 4½ innings over his first six starts this year. With top prospect Jose Berrios on a tear for Triple-A Rochester, the left-hander was likely pitching to keep his spot in the rotation.

Danny Valencia hit a three-run homer in the eighth to bring the A’s within 7-4, but Sano hit his three-run shot in the bottom of the inning to seal it and help the Twins (28-55) move ahead of Atlanta (28-56) in the race for the worst record in the major leagues.

After a meager four-hit performance Monday, the Twins brought their bats to life. Kurt Suzuki, another former A’s player, had two RBIs. Byron Buxton had two doubles, driving in one.

The dark clouds rolled in early enough to cancel batting practice, but with both teams scheduled to travel Wednesday evening (Minnesota to Texas and Oakland to Houston) the preference on both sides was to avoid a doubleheader. So they waited out the heavy rain, swirling wind and thunder and lightning, and the tarp was pulled off the infield at 9:17 p.m. local time. The game started at 9:52 p.m. and ended at 1 a.m.

“They were right,” Melvin said. “They got it in.”

WEATHER TRACKING

Paid attendance was announced at 16,938, the smallest crowd in Target Field’s seven seasons. The upper decks were completely empty and the actual number of people in the seats at first pitch couldn’t have been much more than 1,000. The Twins granted fans ticket exchanges for a future game because of the delay, which was the 31st since the ballpark opened in 2010. There have been 13 postponed games and one suspended.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW

A’s reliever Patrick Schuster made his major league debut in the seventh inning. He got three outs and gave up two hits, three runs and one walk.

“I thought he looked good,” Melvin said. “He didn’t look like there were nerves. He’s pretty stoic, whether it was in spring training or now. I like his stuff.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Oakland reserve catcher Josh Phegley, placed Sunday on the DL, had minor surgery in San Francisco to remove a cruciate ligament cyst on the inside of his right knee that was causing swelling and inflammation. He’ll be reassessed in 10 days. Matt McBride has taken over as the backup.

UP NEXT

Oakland RHP Sonny Gray (3-7, 5.42 ERA) will pitch Wednesday against Minnesota RHP Ervin Santana (2-7, 4.50 ERA) in the series finale.

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