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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Jaime Garcia assured Paul Molitor after the fifth inning he could go some more. Then told his new skipper the same thing after the sixth.
That durability and competitive nature is what has kept Garcia going and eating up innings for nearly a decade — even after his first move to the American League.
Garcia struck out seven pitching into the seventh inning to win his Minnesota debut , and the Twins stopped a four-game losing streak by beating the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.
"Every time I take the mound I take a lot of pride in myself pitching deep," Garcia said. "As a starting pitcher that's getting the job done."
Jason Castro hit RBI doubles in the fourth and fifth innings as the Twins earned a rare victory at the Oakland Coliseum.
Acquired Monday from Atlanta along with catcher Anthony Recker, Garcia (1-0) allowed three runs and eight hits and walked three in 6 2/3 innings after he also won his last two starts for the Braves. The left-hander escaped jams in the second and third innings.
"We were looking forward to seeing how he would respond," Molitor said. "I think overall it was good. ... For him to go that deep in the game for us in his first start, get his first win as an American Leaguer."
Ryan Lavarnway hit a two-run double in the fourth to get Oakland on the board. But the A's squandered several other chances as Bob Melvin was denied his 1,000th managerial win. He will become the 64th skipper in major league history to reach the mark.
Ehire Adrianza and Miguel Sano added RBI singles as the Twins — who had just been swept by Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium — earned their 50th win after not doing so until Sept. 1 last year.
Minnesota returned to the Bay Area after winning a three-game series at San Francisco from June 9-11.
The A's left the bases loaded in the second after Khris Davis and Jed Lowrie drew consecutive walks against Garcia and Matt Chapman singled. But Lavarnway struck out and Matt Joyce grounded into a double play . Garcia made 10 of his 18 starts on the road for Atlanta and this was his first career start at Oakland.
Davis singled home a run in the fifth before the A's lost their fifth straight and seventh in eight.
"We had some opportunities to score a few more runs, especially when you have bases loaded nobody out, and you don't do anything," Melvin said.
A's starter Daniel Gossett (2-6) was chased after just 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs — four earned — and nine hits with four strikeouts and three walks.
Brandon Kintzler finished for his 28th save in 32 chances as the Twins won for just the third time in their last 17 games at the Coliseum.
Bartolo Colon will pitch Sunday against his former club.
The 44-year-old right-hander pitched for Oakland in 2012-13, winning 18 games in '13 after serving a 50-game suspension the previous season for a positive testosterone test.
He is scheduled to oppose Sonny Gray, the subject of trade talks.
"Yeah, Bartolo, he's one of a kind," Melvin said. "Anybody that's played with him and managed him and been around him as a person knows how special he is."
Twins: RHP Phil Hughes, on the 60-day disabled list, recently underwent a battery of tests at the Mayo Clinic that pointed to his original diagnosis of Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and ruled out serious arm issues. He will now take that data and be examined by vascular surgeon Dr. Gregory Pearl in Dallas. ... Byron Buxton homered leading off his rehab game with Triple-A Rochester as he recovers from a strained left groin that landed him on the DL on July 15. ... 3B Sano returned to lineup after missing two straight starts with a sore left wrist. He pinch hit Tuesday.
Athletics: RHP Andrew Triggs returned to the clubhouse on crutches after undergoing surgery on the labrum in his left hip. He is out for the season. ... SS Chad Pinder continues to play rehab games recovering from a strained left hamstring but could be ready to return for Monday's Bay Bridge Series opener at San Francisco. ... Opening day starter Kendall Graveman is scheduled to throw about 80 pitches in a rehab game Saturday for Triple-A Nashville. ... RHP Jharel Cotton (blister) is slated to come off the DL and pitch the opener against the Giants at AT&T Park.
Twins: Adalberto Mejia (4-4, 4.10 ERA) has a 2.38 ERA over his last six outings and makes his first career start against the A's.
Athletics: RHP Chris Smith (0-1, 3.32), a 36-year-old coming off a loss at Toronto, hasn't allowed a run in two career appearances against Minnesota.
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