MINNEAPOLIS — The normally unflappable Ryan Cook had his worst outing of the season for the A’s on Monday, allowing a pair of runs in the eighth inning as the Minnesota Twins rallied for a 5-4 win Memorial Day.
Cook (1-1), who had not allowed an earned run this season in 21 appearances, gave up an infield single to Joe Mauer, walked Josh Willingham, then allowed a bloop double to Justin Morneau as the Twins snapped a five-game losing streak.
“I guess you’re going to give up runs in this game. It’s not a secret to anybody,” said a subdued Cook, who had pitched 23 consecutive scoreless innings.
The A’s have now lost six in a row — their worst slump of the season.
Alex Burnett (2-0) pitched the Twins out of a one-out jam in the top of the eighth for the win.
After blowing a save in a 4-3 loss to Detroit on Sunday, Matt Capps pitched the ninth for his 10th save. He struck out Jonny Gomes with the bases loaded to end the game.
Oakland jumped out to a 2-0 lead when Josh Reddick and Kila Ka’aihue both hit two-out solo homers to right, in the first and second innings, respectively.
The A’s seemed likely to pad their lead in the fifth when Collin Cowgill reached on an infield single, and Adam Rosales was safe when Trevor Plouffe bobbled a hard grounder to third. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
But with men on second and third and one out, Jemile Weeks hit a bouncer to second. Twins second baseman Alexi Casilla threw home, and Mauer was able to chase down Cowgill on the basepath, preventing a run from scoring.
“We had a couple opportunities where we could’ve added on without a hit, and I think those end up biting you a little bit, especially in a close game like that,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Lefty Travis Blackley was making his first start for the A’s after being claimed off waivers from the Giants on
May 15. He went five innings and allowed just three hits.
Manny Ramirez is eligible to return to the big leagues Wednesday with the A’s after being suspended for 50 games for a failed drug test, but it’s not certain the team will activate him then.
A’s manager Bob Melvin told reporters Monday there is a “50-50” chance Ramirez will be activated Wednesday.
Ramirez turns 40 on Wednesday and has been playing with Triple-A Sacramento in recent days.
Going into Monday’s game, Ramirez was 6-for-28 (.214) with no extra-base hits in eight games for Sacramento.
Melvin said he’d like to see Ramirez swinging the bat better before adding him to the A’s roster, but he also noted that the team needs some punch.
Inge returns: The A’s activated third baseman Brandon Inge from the 15-day disabled list. Inge went 0-for-2 with a walk in Monday’s game.
Padres claim Wagner: A’s right-handed pitcher Neil Wagner was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres. Wagner was 1-1 with a 5.49 ERA in 15 games with Triple-A Sacramento this season.